Try these three simple brain games for just twenty-one days and you’ll feel like you can tackle anything.
Like a junk draw of things you’ll probably never need, the internet is overflowing with advice on how to be happier. What’s real and what’s a scam? Everyday it seems there are hokey new brain games designed to increase your mental capacity, or improve your mood, but every so often you can uncover a gem like “Twelve Habits of Healthy Happy People” or “This Is Water” by David Foster Wallace.
Happiness is a feeling and like all feelings, we can’t force it, but we can set ourselves up for success through healthy habits.
More and more studies are proving that increasing our happiness is closely tied to our brain chemistry (even our guts). And like our tongues or biceps, our brain is a muscle, and the way we exercise it is key to it’s optimal function.
In my search of ‘happiness tips’ I’ve found the brain games below to be the best, only requiring a little reflection time, paper and a pen. So here goes: Get in the habit of writing these three simple thoughts for twenty one days and it will really rewire your brain and create the foundation for a happy life.
Write down three things each day you are grateful for. It must be different every day. It could be simple or complicated, like “I am grateful for my family” or “I am grateful for the delicious and nourishing qualities of fresh kale.” Just make sure it’s three different examples each day.
2. Random Act of Kindness
Write down a random act of kindness you witnessed or performed yourself. For example, send an email to someone close to you with whom you haven’t spoken in a while, make a donation to a worthy cause, or rake your neighbors lawn without telling them.
3. One Positive Experience
Journal about one positive experience that happened to you within the last 24 hours. For example, someone found my wallet on the L train and tweeted me to track me down and return it (true story!).
Remember: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. The happiest people make the best of everything.”
Do you have any favorite brain games that help you look on the sunny side of life? Share them in a comment!
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Image: Mr. Skinner