Alicia Skiles, MS, NCC, LPC-IT, SAC-IT, Professional CounseloriStock_000005466158Medium

Giving thanks; expressing gratitude; showing appreciation; counting your blessings; looking on the bright side of life….

There are many ways to phrase taking time to recognize the good things you’ve got going on.

There is also scientific research that suggests the daily practice of gratitude exercises can train the brain to think more positively.

A TED talk in 2012 by psychologist Shawn Achor titled ‘The Happy Secret to Better Work’ promotes the task of gratitude exercises. Achor describes how gratitude increases happiness which inspires more productivity and work satisfaction.

Near the end of his talk he shared that for under 2 minutes a day, for 21 days, anyone can train their brain to think more positively. He also shared that research tells us that being more positive not only increases life satisfaction but increases dopamine levels and turns on the learning centers of your brain.

It’s November 21 and almost Thanksgiving, consider the following challenges:

60 second challenge: Write down 3 things you are grateful for and post them somewhere you will see every day.

1260 second challenge: For the next 21 days write down three different things you are grateful for. You may even use the posted list of the first three things as a reminder. Consider sharing these on Thanksgiving Day with family and friends.

Check out the TED talk: