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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

Retrain Your Brain for Resiliency!

It seems that our brains are hardwired to focus on negativity bias. Perhaps this is a throwback from the time our ancestors fought saber-tooth tigers and looked for enemies behind every tree. Dr. Rick Hanson from U.C. Berkeley says it’s “Velcro for the bad and Teflon for the good.” But psychologist Hanson also teaches that our brains can be rewired through positive neuroplasticity training.

Think of it this way: like developing muscle strength through repetition of lifting weights, our brains can develop new patterns through repetition of positive thoughts and experiences. We know that what fires together, wires together. Yes—we are rewiring our brains!

Here are three practices you can start immediately:

  1. Stop the busyness and breathe. Seriously. Pause. For at least two minutes, just breathe. Notice what is working for you. Think of one thing you are grateful for. You are beginning to develop the skill now practiced in schools and in business: mindfulness! Here are two apps that might help: Focus Keeper and Insight Timer. I use the latter for setting time and selecting sound (ocean waves) for my mindfulness.

  2. Perform one random act of kindness. It can be as simple as throwing your neighbor’s paper to their front door, saying good morning to the store clerk or paying for the coffee of a stranger. Your heart and brain will thank you.

  3. Bless someone or something. This is not in the religious sense of the word—although you could. It is more like appreciating, honoring, extending compassion.

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