How 5 Minutes of Gratitude Can Re-Wire Your Brain
Do you ever feel like you are so intent on getting to the next item on your to do list that you lose time? I don’t know about you but it sometimes feels like hours, become days, become months and you think ‘wow, is it really almost April!?’
This constant on. the. go. mentality that is driven as a sign of success for today’s society, takes it’s toll. Stress, burnout, depression, anxiety all seep into daily life with seeming little way to stop it.
Guess what? We can actively re-wire our brains in just 5 minutes a day! According to this article in Psychology Today ” Feelings of gratitude directly activated brain regions associated with the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine feels good to get, which is why it’s generally considered the “reward” neurotransmitter. But dopamine is also almost important in initiating action. That means increases in dopamine make you more likely to do the thing you just did. It’s the brain saying, “Oh, do that again.”
There are a number of ways that you can start to implement this new routine into your day, but I thought I’d offer a couple of ideas that take no more than 5 minutes and are a great way to begin the shift away from constantly being ‘on’.
For those of you tied to your phones for everything, The 5 minute Journal app is fantastic! It asks three questions morning and night. You can set an alarm to remind you, and even add a picture to the day if you would like. Easy, peasy and makes a startling difference just to force yourself to stop and think for a minute.
The second option for those of you who like a more analogue option is the Daily Greatness Journal. I love this because it is flexible and offers some help in creating a blueprint for what is most important to you. It is also a very simple way to introduce journaling to your day, where you need only to write a few words or phrases, filling in the blanks.
Try it out! I know, I know, this is change and can be super overwhelming, but just do it! Life is a marathon, not a race, so the best way to implement change is in small digestible bits. Be consistent with the small changes and they will soon become habits that you don’t even think about doing!
Have you tried to implement 5 minutes of gratitude? Comment below on what works for you. If you haven’t tried it, let me know how it works for you!