Today when I checked my inbox I found an e-mail from one of my readers, Linda. She pointed me in the direction of a TED Talk by Shawn Achor about re-wiring your brain.
Have you watched the video (if not, watch it before continuing)? Are you inspired? I am, which is why I’ve decided to take Shawn up on his 21 day challenge. I know Linda has already committed to the challenge, but is anyone else up to joining me?
I’m going to do a quick recap of some of the key points covered in this Ted Talk.
First, here was Shawn’s thesis statement(essentially) for this lecture:
“If you can raise someone’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences a HAPPINESS ADVANTAGE.”
“Your brain at positive performs significantly better (31% better) than it does negative, neutral or stressed. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, and your energy levels rise.
NOW FOR THE CHALLENGE
The challenge consists of 5 activities that you need to commit to doing everyday for 21 days (that’s only 3 weeks… you can do anything for 3 weeks).
- Record 3 new things that you’re grateful for (this will rewire your brain to recognize and look for the positive)
- Journal about one positive experience you’ve had (this will help your brain to relive that positive memory, in lieu of the negative or embarrassing ones we tend to remember instead)
- Exercise (this teaches your brain that you’re behavior matters – the key with this is to do manageable amounts of exercise every day (one day could – and should – be a stretching day). You don’t want to burn yourself out. You’re teaching yourself discipline, and proving to yourself that you can follow through on your promises)
- Meditation (this will help you to get over the cultural ADHD that exists all around us, and will allow your body and mind to focus on the task at hand).
- Random Acts of Kindness (when you open your e-mail, or twitter, or facebook, write one positive post or e-mail that praises or thanks someone in your social support network…. I wonder if that’s what Linda was doing when she wrote me that lovely e-mail).
It’s a fantastic challenge. Just difficult enough to make a difference, but not so large a change that it becomes daunting. Many of the components of this challenge take no time at all. It’s more of an awareness thing.
What activity do you find to be the most daunting in this challenge?