In 2017, I was a very angry person. Scary darkness was inside. As a result, I trained my brain to seek negativity. I trained my brain to seek it, just like anyone can train their brain to seek it.
Therefore, wherever I went the negative energy followed like a shadow. Whatever situation I was in, I was never optimistic about it. I always thought the worst. Above all, I thought this was the right way to live. However, this way of living was exhausting.
This is why I believe that others need to train their brain using positivity writing or what some call it gratitude writing. To sum it all up, this is what brought me out of the darkness.
Before I Learned to Train My Brain
In 2017, I had two major life events happen to me back-to-back. After that, is when I went down the dark path of anger. Likewise, I was just angry ALL THE TIME. And to be honest I didn't know I was so angry. I felt I was handling these events quite well with what I'd been dealt with.
First, I came out to my parents and this didn't go well. Then, three months later I found out I had a brother and my dad wouldn't acknowledge it. So, I had to put back my feelings about how my parents responded to me so I could deal with this new situation. And I felt like neither one was getting resolved. So, really both of them just festered inside. Like a giant flame in my stomach that was not going away.
Light Bulb Moment
This festering inside caused anger. Invisible anger. I didn't know what was happening until someone close to me said they were worried about me. This forced me to have a conversation about why and to really think about how I was acting.
Above all, it got me thinking about how I was actually FEELING.
I realized I was headed down a dangerous path. The path of resentment and anger. I tapped into my feelings and started to notice things. I was alert all the time, no matter where I was. Constantly aware of all my surroundings. As a result, I never felt relaxed and it was making me tired.
I went on like this for a while. Just trying to sort through how I felt and what to do about it.
I came across a book called Mindset by Carol S. Dweck. This book talks about having a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. She suggested starting a daily gratitude practice. As in, writing your daily gratitudes.
I started this daily gratitude writing the next day or as I like to call it writing in my daily positive journal. This was the start of my taking control. I could control this and I could train my brain to seek a growth mindset.
This is when things started to change for me.
What I Do to Train My Brain
My last post was about daily journal writing. Likewise, how journal writing helps me keep everything in one place. So, I don't have multiple journals laying around the house.
But, daily gratitude or positive writing is so important to me that it is the ONLY thing that is separate from my daily journal writing. I have benefited from it so much that it gets its own space.
Anyways... each evening before bed I write 3-5 things from that day that were positive.
I could have had the worst day. But... I ALWAYS can find 3-5 things that were positive. Sometimes they are about the environment. Or they are about the air I'm breathing. Sometimes they are about things that happen naturally that I'm grateful for such as breathing. Other times they could be about something that happened to me that day. Or that someone did something for me. Literally, ANYTHING that is positive can go here.
But the most important thing is that I am grateful for them.
I combined this daily writing practice with affirmations and I now have the control. I have been able to train my brain during happy times, challenging situations, and negative situations. The outcome of these two daily habits done consistently has been noticed. They are effective because words and gratitudes are extremely valuable and simple tools that you can use in a wellness toolbox.
Likewise, there is no right or wrong answer here. You write what you want to write. Whatever you feel was positive, write it down. And you can pick how you want to do it. 5 things are too many, don't do that. Write 3. 3 things are too many, go to 2. This can be tailored towards you and how it fits into your daily lifestyle.
Consistent Gratitude Can Train Your Brain
Your brain is a learning tool. It's malleable. This means it can grow without breaking. It's flexible. It can be easily influenced. Use this to your advantage in a positive way.
Writing daily in your positive journal can rewire or train your brain to seek positive things everywhere you go.
When you write positive things daily, it creates new neuro-pathways in your brain. These pathways help you seek out positive outcomes in your day rather than negative ones.
In other words, you will train your brain to gravitate more towards people or situations with positive vibes rather than want to be around others who have negative vibes.
The more you practice this, the more positivity you will seek.
This is another major benefit of writing gratitude.
Writing gratitude or positive things helps you rethink a negative situation or challenge.
Now... this is a tough one. And it takes consistent daily work to get here. But... the benefits outweigh the time spent writing gratitude.
The first thing you need to do is accept how you feel about the situation, whatever it may be. It doesn't matter how long it takes either. Listen to your body, your mind, your heart, and your soul. You will know when you have accepted your feelings and are ready to move on.
How you perceive a situation is entirely up to you. When a situation arises, you have a choice. You have a choice to look at all the terrible things. Similarly, you have a choice to look at the positive things while in the midst of something that is challenging and many have some negative baggage to it.
Consistent gratitude writing can help you default to positive. Because even during challenging times, there are positives. You just have to seek them out. Train your brain to find them.
You do this with gratitude writing. Remember that this creates neuro-pathways to seek positive things. This can give you a little bit of control during a situation you may not have control over.
This can prove major during challenging situations. Gratitude never leaves you. It follows you. It is up to you to be consistent with it and put in the time to make it happen.
Train Your Brain, Reduce Your Stress
When daily gratitude writing is done consistently, it can reduce your stress.
Stress can be an invisible monster. It can take control of you without you actually knowing it. It can do things to your mind, body, and heart that you don't even know about.
Gratitude writing can help you reduce the chances of this invisible monster taking control of you.
The control over our happiness belongs to us. It belongs to you. It belongs to people everywhere.
When you write your gratitude, the area of your brain that involves your happiness becomes stronger.
Every time you seek happiness, I mean really search for it, your pathways in your brain become stronger and new ones are created. The more you practice it, the stronger it will be.
Thinking of happy times and positive outcomes increases your serotonin level. Therefore, reducing your stress. The more positive you seek the stronger your happiness becomes. As a result, stress levels go down.
When you are genuinely happy, there's less of a chance for you to be overly stressed.
Be positive. Seek happiness. Take control. Reduce your stress.
Would you rather default to positive thinking or negative thinking?
What would you rather attract? Positive vibes or negative vibes? Because of your mindset and the way you think is what you are going to attract.
I want you to be that person who defaults to positive thinking. I believe that you can attract positive vibes and inspiration. And I believe that consistent positive writing can help you do it.
Consistent Gratitude Results In Major Wellness Results
Your brain is malleable. Train it to seek the positive. Take control of your thoughts. Because the power is in your hands here. No one else. Make the decision to be happy, be positive, and be a person of genuine gratitude. Pick up a nice journal, post-it notes, or a notebook, and start writing your gratitude today.
Your Certified Brain Health Coach,
Owner of SustainaBRAIN