A New Year, A More Resilient You


We are kicking off our new blog series, A New Year, A More Mindful You, with a strategy for building resilience and finding greater happiness.

The holiday season has wound down and life is getting back to normal for many of us. As we enter the new year and hunker down on intentions and resolutions, we invite you to shift perspective and become more resilient by considering simple, everyday moments in your life that bring joy.

Our brains have a built in negativity bias. We’re wired to pay attention to threats, dangers, and aspects of life that hurt. Why? So we can avoid those things in the future.

Thousands of years ago, this built in negativity bias helped keep our species alive. In today’s world, it plays out in such a way that our minds are teflon for the positive and velcro for the negative, which increases stress.

We can, however, shift mindset and strengthen the neural pathways connecting us to the region of the brain responsible for pro-social behavior, compassion, empathy, and kindness. How? By turning our attention to more good, every day.

Here’s an exercise from J. Bryan Sexton, Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University’s School of Medicine, that builds resiliency and offers us a way to connect with more happiness, joy and peace.

Three Good Things
Write down three good things that you have experienced in the last 24 hours. These moments can be small and simple, or larger in scale. Write down whatever comes to mind.

Next, write down your role in making each good thing happen.

Finally, identify and write down the emotion associated with each good thing.

Try this practice for 14 consecutive days or more and notice how this impacts your view of life, your energy, your attitude, your relationships. Consider Three Good Things as you identify your New Year resolutions. And if you forget to practice one day, no worries. Hop back into the habit when you remember again.

That’s it. Give it a try and enjoy! I’d love to hear how it goes.

Mindfully yours,

Ashley NelsonComment