Hi, everybody, Dr. Eric Cobb back with you this week.
I hope you’re having a fantastic week. You know what? We’re heading into Thanksgiving and what we’re going to talk about today is your brain and gratitude. Now the reason this is important to me is that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the name: Thanksgiving.
In other words, taking time to figure out what you’re grateful for, and what you are thankful for you life. Maybe it’s your loved ones, your family, friends, maybe your work, what you’re contributing to the world, I don’t know, but if we look hard we can generally find a lot of things
to be thankful for.
Now the reason I say Thanksgiving and your brain is this: One of the things we’re learning is that we can adapt and change our brain circuitry, and we’ve been talking about this if you’ve been following the blog, if you’ve been following Z-Health for over a decade. The idea is called neuroplasticity and one of the things that is showing up in research — this isn’t just me standing you’re going “hey, this is what I think”, but this is really based on research — that we can retrain our brains to become more thankful. And whenever we retrain our brains become more thankful, we actually become happier people. So think about that. It makes sense, right? If you spend a lot of time thinking about the things in your life that have come to you that you’re grateful for, it actually is very empowering and improves your general state being, improves your happiness, and improves your productivity and your health.
So at the end of the day, one of the things that I’m always trying to get our clients to understand and our students, is to go: listen no matter where you are, take a little bit of time each day and begin training your brain to look for the good. That’s the message of today’s blog. Take a little bit of time to look for the good.
Now with that in mind, I wanna show you a little tool that we’ve come across that I love. We were introduced to this by one of our business coaches and it is called a five-minute Journal right? The five-minute Journal. And this is a fantastic tool because basically, what happens when you open up the journal, you have just a few lines to fill in every day and the first three lines are:
“I am grateful for: _______
I’ve been practicing this process for some time, and I will tell you what’s amazing is that when we direct the brain to look for things to be thankful or grateful for, we can find them. Even in the midst of hardship, in the midst of things that are really driving us nuts — if your business is struggling, if you’re having relationship problems — looking for the good can be an incredibly empowering thing that you do because if you do it in the mornings, if you do it in the evenings, you just take the two or three minutes to find something good and write it down, it gives you a tremendous amount of perspective on your life.
And what I found is it gives you a tremendous amount of energy to devote to creating change. So the five-minute journal. Please check it out. It’s a fantastic tool and there’s more stuff in it, but I just really want to talk about the whole idea of gratitude today.
Now the one thing about this particular resource is that currently it is not available for your phone or your iPad, and I think there’s something cool about that, where you’re actually taking the time to write stuff by hand. I think most of us remember how to do that, but if you’re looking for something a little bit more electronic, you can create your own. There are multiple diary apps and things you can put on your iPhone or iPad, or whatever it is.
You set an alarm, and at 8 o’clock at night, or 9 o’clock in the morning, or 8 o’clock in the morning. Whatever you choose, take about 30 seconds to two minutes, and you go: I’m thankful for: and you type it in. Now, our business coach also has an app that I wanted to tell you about. We’re going to put the link for it below on the video and it’s called win streak.
It’s actually one of the ones that we’ve been using in our office, and it’s a really cool little application that’s incredibly simple. It’s basically doing exactly what we talked about. We’ve talked about the three things you did today that were great, and the three things that you’re gonna do tomorrow. Now, the reason that I keep bringing all this up, and the reason I keep using the number three is that for the most part, when we see people trying to create behavior change, if you try to do too much, you go “you know what, I’m going to sit down and try to write a journal entry every night for things I’m grateful for”, it probably won’t happen.
But if you say: I’m going to write three words, or three sentences — that’s it — about things I’m grateful for, that’s a behavior change that is simple enough that most of us can begin enacting it, And over the course of two, three, four, five, six weeks, it can become habitual, and if you’re paying attention to what it’s doing inside you, if you’re paying attention to how it may be modifying your thinking, giving you energy, improving your general well-being and happiness, I think you’ll find it so valuable that by the time you’ve got a little bit of practice in, you’ll be dedicated to it for life.
So as we’re coming up on the holiday of Thanksgiving, I’m going to encourage you to look for the good every day. Not just on Thanksgiving. Because in doing so, you’re going to do the very best thing you can, not only for your own life and your own brain, but for everyone you come in contact with.
So happy Thanksgiving, and have a fantastic week!