Within our brains, there is no room for love and hate in the same thought. The more we think about love (or hate), the easier our brains will turn to those thoughts. You’ve probably heard the quote “As neurons fire together they wire together” - that’s the theory of neural-connection.
Think of it this way:
Our thought patterns are like bridges. Our neurons are constantly building bridges with individual bricks (thoughts) made of love (positivity) or hate (negativity). The more you think positive thoughts, the quicker those bridges are built and used. If you tend to find the negative in things, the quicker the bridges to negativity are built and used.
Mic drop - your brain neurons tend to use the bridges most readily available.
So, if you want to live a happier, more meaningful life, you need to give your brain even more positive blocks to build with.
EXERCISE: HOW TO BE MORE MINDFUL & ACTIVELY SEEK HAPPINESS
Here’s an activity that will help jump-start the creation of many, MANY positive bridges (or neuro-pathways). I am a journal girl. I LOVE a beautifully designed journal, with all the fresh pages waiting for my thoughts. The ahhmazing news is whether you’re borderline obsessive about journals like me - or not - you can complete this exercise with anything you have on hand.
What will you get out of this activity? You are forced to dig deep and uncover all the goodness over the past few months.
Let's Build 100 Bridges
1) Grab your favourite journal, a few pieces of paper and a pen, or a notes app on your phone
2) Start writing things you’re grateful for, numbering each thought from 1 to 100. Instead of broad things like “My Husband” or “My Kids” or “My Health”, try to think of the smaller things like:
I’ve gotten to see the quirkiness of my daughter since she’s been at home more
My hair feels softer since I haven’t had to curl it every day
The smell of the grass after rain
Hubby rubbed my feet while we watched Netflix
When I dropped the plate, it didn’t smash!
3) Do NOT stop this list until you’ve reached 100 thoughts. Remember, they don’t need to be big things. Acknowledging and feeling gratitude for many small things is what we’re looking for.
Try it and let me know how you felt afterward! The magical part of this experience? You will start to notice and appreciate even more of these little things throughout your day. Keep doing activities like this and over time it will become easier to STOP a stressful situation or shake off a negative event - your neural-connections (remember those bridges?) will become wired for gratitude.
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Remember - the more you actively seek the good in your life, the more you will stumble upon it.