Updated: Jun 15
It is a basic human tendency to scan for threats in the midst of a crisis unless we create patterns to allow our brains to see the positive. In the last 100 years, humans have overcome a number of crises they faced for the very first time, adapted to the new normal, and yet in the face of a new crisis feel threatened to lose the familiarity of the older way of living. But how do we really go from being perplexed and overwhelmed by crisis to adapting to a positive mindset? Shawn Achor, author of Big Potential and The Happiness Advantage, advocates taking the 21 day Gratitude Challenge. Thinking of three new things we are grateful for, for 21 days. Shawn also insists that this is not social distancing as everyone thinks, this is physical distancing. Finding one person to appreciate or extend thanks, every day, is a great way to reconnect with someone from our lives, be it a school teacher, an old friend or our old boss.
Going further, 15min of regular exercise every day is equivalent to taking an antidepressant which charges up the brain cells. These measures build a background app in our brains passively scanning the world for the positive and making optimism easy for us.