Retrain Your Brain in Just 3 Minutes a Day

The cool thing about the positive thinking experiment I’ve been doing this past week is that folks have been sending me all sorts of great links. I especially loved this hilarious TED talk (see below) by Shawn Achor, The happy secret to better work. Besides being funny as hell, it’s also a great reminder of why thinking positively is so important–because 90% of our happiness comes from within. That’s right–only 10% of your happiness comes from the world around you. It’s what you do with the rest that makes a difference.

To change this, start listing 3 things you’re grateful for. Do this every day for 21 days and voila! you’ve rewired your brain. Not only will you be in a better mood, but you’ll be more effective at work and hell, you might even sleep better.

If you’re still not convinced that being happier or, gasp, that fulfilling your life-long dreams is actually within your grasp, check out this recent post, Love and Happiness, by Betsy and Warren at Married With Luggage, a couple who’s living The Good Life while traveling around the world. (Click here to read more about how you can live your own dream.)

Still not convinced?

OK, then. Come change your brain with me! List 3 things you’re thankful for below, in the comments section, and we’ll spur each other on.  3 things every day for 21 days. Aw c’mon, it’ll just take a sec. Besides, you don’t even have to exercise or anything.

By the way, you don’t even have to list your real name, if you don’t want to.  Just type in “Zelda” or “Jane Doe” or “Jay-Z” and go for it. (The only person who can see your email address is me, and I’m not telling. )

So far, I’ve been doing this for the past 5 days and, let me tell you, it’s already making a huge difference in my life. Just imagine what things are going to look like after 21 days!

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30 Responses to Retrain Your Brain in Just 3 Minutes a Day

  1. tpajevic February 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Here’s what I’m grateful for today, Day#1: Nico singing Bruce Springsteen’s “What Love Can Do,” the friends who emailed to let me know that they liked this post, and my awesome friend Scarlet, who always helps me see the brighter side of things.

  2. Julie Poppen February 17, 2012 at 12:10 am #

    1. My hard work being appreciated
    2. My hubby’s delicious pan-seared brussel sprouts
    3. Reading to my increasingly giant kid on a blanket by our fake fireplace.

  3. Dana February 17, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    1. This blog post for kicking my ass into being positive
    2. My son’s sweet kisses and the fact that he can charm me at any given moment
    3. The kids went to sleep without any drama tonight!

  4. Julie Poppen February 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Day 2

    1. Dean-o’s help on a computer formatting issue
    2. NIA and Juliet!!!!
    3. The fact that I can still dance.

  5. Dana February 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    1. The color that Lucy has brought into my life.
    2. My amazing friend Christina who has helped me declutter my house and brought laughter back into my life.
    3. This sunny day.

    • tpajevic February 17, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

      Day 2: Today, I’m grateful for some much-needed comic relief at Home Depot, the tulips my mom brought over the other day, and watching Gabriel get super-excited about some crazy blow-up boxing gloves.

  6. tpajevic February 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Day #3: Today, I’m grateful for

    1. watching my kids have a blast in this crazy 4-D kids’ movie at the Denver Aquarium
    2. watching Ken play-box with the kids (or watching them take him down and him really playing it up, then listening to everyone laugh their asses off)’
    3. finding a cucumber in the fridge (yay! last veggie in the house) to give to Gabriel for a last-minute snack to help him stay awake until dinner.

  7. tpajevic February 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Day #4: Here’s what I”m thankful for today:
    1. getting to the other side of a misunderstanding
    2. Michael Franti’s All Rebel Rockers, for pulling me out of my bad mood
    3. bringing my iPod and earphones to the grocery store.

  8. tpajevic February 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Day #5: Today, I’m thankful for
    1. a good cup of coffee!
    2. making a new friend
    3. my awesome kids, for being completely and totally who they are.

  9. tpajevic February 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Day #6: Today, I’m thankful for:
    1. Gabriel: “Right now, I’m loving you a lot, Mama.”
    2. Nico and my mom’s plans to shut down our street to start a hawk training program.
    3. Ken’s contagious laugh.

  10. tpajevic February 24, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Here’s what I’m grateful for yesterday, Day #7:
    1. the power coming back on
    2. Kim, my fabulous hairdresser
    3. finally giving up my attempt at getting some house stuff done and just playing with Gabriel.

    Here’s what I’m grateful for today, Day #8:
    1. the power coming back on again
    2. the insightful parenting talk I went to
    3. meeting up with my friends.

  11. tpajevic February 24, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Day #9: I’m grateful for
    1. the wonderful teachers and staff at my son’s school
    2. hanging out and eating popcorn on the couch with my family
    3. the inspiration to do something nice for someone else today.

    • Courtney U March 12, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

      Hi Tanja – Nice meeting you tonight. Love the blog and love the idea of 3 things each day you are grateful for. We too, love to eat popcorn on the couch for movie night … it is the best!
      Keep up the good, hard work! – Courtney

      • tpajevic March 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

        Thanks, Courtney! Good to meet you, too. I look forward to hearing about your new business as you get things up and running–you’ve got a really great idea, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes.
        Tanja

  12. tpajevic February 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Day #10: On Saturday, I was grateful for
    1. surviving the morning
    2. surviving the afternoon
    3. having Gabriel remind me of what really mattered.

    Day #11: On Sunday, I was grateful for
    1. Nico’s fun questions
    2. a peaceful day with my family
    3. Ken’s resilience from my Hulk-ish Saturday

    Day #12. Today I’m thankful for
    1. finally being able to power through my entire dance class–thank you iron IV!
    2. the great mood and laughs from my class
    3. watching how much fun Gabriel’s having stamping everyone in sight.

  13. tpajevic February 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    More than half-way there! Yesterday (Day #13), I was thankful for
    1. having a good and fun hour playing with Gabriel
    2. Nico’s awesome morning teachers and their kindness
    3. seeing how happy it made Nico to make sushi for dinner.

    Today (Day #14), I’m thankful for
    1. a Married With Luggage blog post showing that I’m not the only one battling my demons right now
    2. the wind finally dying down and the sun coming out
    3. Ken giving me extra time this week so I can hit a deadline.

  14. tpajevic March 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    Day #15. I’m grateful for
    1. Carissa taking such great care of our kids
    2. a giant cup of yummy, yummy coffee this afternoon
    3. Ken cooking dinner so I can keep working and hit my deadline. Yay for my awesome spouse!

  15. tpajevic March 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Today (day #16), I’m thankful for:
    1. finally finishing my chapter summaries!
    2. Nico’s missing shrimp reappearing in the fish tank
    3. the kids, for waiting for me to get off a phone call to hang out with me, and then for being so sweet and awesome.

  16. tpajevic March 4, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Yesterday (Day #17), I was thankful for
    1. finding an beautiful plant for our home
    2. finding light-up shoes for Gabriel
    3. the awesome tips Betsy shared with me via email.

    Today (Day #18), I’m grateful for
    1. cleaning up my office
    2. realizing that Ken and I haven’t been arguing much lately
    3. for having a really good weekend with my family.

  17. tpajevic March 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    Day #19: I’m thankful for
    1. meeting some really cool women today
    2. my super-supportive spouse
    3. Nico earning a star at school

  18. tpajevic March 6, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Day #20! Today,I’m thankful for
    1. listening to my gut
    2. my rock-star friends
    3. my new, positive life. I love it!

  19. tpajevic March 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Day #21: I’m grateful
    1.that I made it to the 21st day! This experiment has really changed my way of thinking, and wow, does it rock.
    2. that Ken and I finally found a dining room light we agree on–and for under $100, yay.
    3. for my awesome, awesome family and this amazing life I have. I’m truly blessed.

  20. Holly September 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    Day #1 –
    1. Having the guts to follow my intuition today.
    2. A super cute, lovable little boy who’s excited about his public speaking assignment at school
    3. A husband who puts up with me.

  21. emmylou September 13, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    Day one: im grateful for this blog helping my marriage rut and letting me know its normal lol, its my beautiful nieces bday and the kids have let me read the paper in bed this morning bliss!

  22. emmylou September 15, 2014 at 4:11 am #

    Day two: hubby helping with the kids this morning, my awesome brother in law and sister planning a bday party and being able to relax this afternoon

    • tpajevic September 15, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      Go, Emmylou, Go!

  23. emmylou September 16, 2014 at 1:38 am #

    Day three: baby going down for his sleep with no fuss, sick daughter smiling again (thanks pamol!!), hubby staying home with daughter tomorrow so I can do some much needed work 🙂

  24. emmylou September 17, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Day four: wow this really works im already feeling more grateful! Im grateful for delicious blueberry muffins, fun ladies at work and my sons ever growing vocab including a super cute love you!

  25. Gina Watson, LMFT February 21, 2016 at 9:48 am #

    1. An Urgent Care on every corner so I can get immediate relief with a steroid shot to the butt and be able to see
    2. The new Sound of Music Broadway musical with
    3. 2 daughters who share my passion for musical theater 🙂
    Gina Watson, LMFT recently posted..Need a Valentine Do-Over?My Profile

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    […] some of you know, I’ve already done this exercise publicly–twice now, actually.  But as often happens, life (and my big ‘ole brain) gets in the way and before you know it, […]

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