Your brain is so much better at focusing on survival than it is on focusing on being happy, and it’s because of this fact that your brain is constantly scanning for threats. It’s trying to pick out or notice anything bad, dangerous, or negative, instead of looking for the positive, or dwelling on the good things that happen in your life.
Your brain’s default setting is to keep you alive, by really paying attention to anything really threatening or dangerous.
This focus on survival was imperative to our ancestors, but in today’s world, if left unchecked, it can lead to stress, burnout, and depression, but I have good news, there’s a simple way to combat this challenge by focusing on the negative, and to turn up the volume of the positive things in your life. It’s an activity called 3 Good Things.
In this post, I’ll teach you how to fight depression and burnout and feel happier. It takes just two minutes a day, and thanks to our sponsor, Take Two Minutes, it’s easier than ever to get it done.
You Can Learn To Rewire Your Brain With The 3 Good Things Exercise
Okay, so like I said before, our brain is hardwired hard-wired for survival. Which means it’s hardwired to notice threats, and to notice the negative.
The negative grabs our attention, while the positive waits for us to notice. When we just run along in “default mode”, this can make us feel depressed, and exhausted.
So here’s the super simple way to rewire your brain, it’s called: The 3 Good Things Exercise. For two weeks, before you go to bed, ask yourself ‘What are three good things that went well today, and what was my role in making them happen?’and then just be sure to write them down.
So, for example, yesterday, I had a fairly difficult day, it’s winter here, it’s cold, and dreary, it’s really difficult to get outside with the kids, and with COVID, we can’t take them to play places, or to see very many friends.
So basically, it was another entire day, couped up in the house, with three super energetic kids, and there may have been some tantrums, and I may have yelled at the kids, and it’s just tough sometimes.
Anyways, when I sit down, and think of three good things, it sounds like this: I got to sit on the floor and make a cool sticker puzzle with my three-year-old, and she really enjoyed it.
Plus, she was practicing her numbers, and she was being quiet during church, so that was really nice bonding time with her.
Number two is: I got to make earrings with my six-year-old, and it’s really fun to make things with her, especially without the two little kids.
And then, number three: we had a crazy “wrestle mania” with all the kids in the living room, and that got some wiggles out, and the girls laughed, and screamed a lot, and so that was really fun.
And that’s it, that’s all there is to it, and when I do it, I feel better, and the amazing result is that research shows that within four to five days, reflecting on the positive leads to noticing more positive
The Benefits Of The 3 Good Things Exercise
The positive things in your life, and those feelings of happiness, and contentment, just keep growing, and it’s like that positive just gets louder.
Clinical trials show that people who do this for fourteen days, have less burnout, and depression, a better work-life balance, less conflict at school, or work, and a higher level of happiness, and the really cool thing is that the results from those fourteen days can last for six months, or more.
So, this exercise, for just two weeks, can impact you for almost a half a year or more, and it just takes two minutes a day, so how cool is that, right?
Now, I think the biggest barrier to doing an activity like this, is that it’s easy to forget to do it, but that’s where Take Two Minutes comes in.
What they do, is they send you a text message every day, at the time you choose. This message not only pulls you from your routine to think about your three good things, but it also includes a link to a page where you can enter three good things instantly, instead of having to find a pen, and paper, and then once you complete your entries, they’ll store your answers in your personal private journal, which you can easily access at any time to review, and reflect on.
It’s super easy. Seriously though, this activity is so powerful, and Take Two makes it so easy to do it. They are sponsoring this video, which I am grateful for, but I also seriously love their service.
Make It Easy To Remember 3 Good Things Every Day
You can find them by texting JOIN to this number below, or by visiting take2minutes.org. They also have guided meditations, an easy gratitude journal, and some great resources to help you with anxiety, and sleep, and other stuff.
So, it’s that easy. Every night before you go to bed, think of three good things that happened to you, and what you did to bring them about. I would love to hear what your three good things are.
Leave yours down in the comments section below.
You can also check out our course below.