Five Minutes for Two Weeks Can Change Your Life: Will You Accept the “Three Good Things” Challenge?

Carie ShermanBy Carie Sherman

The science is in and the results prove: A positive attitude is a key to better health. It’s as easy as taking five minutes for 14 days to reflect on the good stuff.

I recently heard a researcher from Duke University speak to an audience of physicians about using the science of mindfulness to combat a bigtime problem people in health care face: burnout. And I walked away with a tool–and a challenge–for us chronically ill sorts.

A Scientific Formula for Increasing Your Own Resiliency

I’ve never met a more resilient bunch than the people I know who have lupus. But day after day of feeling hungover (sans awesome levels of consumption the night before) can leave the sunniest dispositioned person feeling blah.

burnoutdemotivatorPeople who have taken part in Three Good Things report that after 14 days, they experience:

  • Less symptoms of burn-out
  • Less conflict
  • A better work-life balance
  • Better sleep
  • Better overall health

What do we have to lose?

Join me for a Three Good Things for 14 Days Challenge (it only takes 5 minutes/day– I promise!)

It’s easy to get started.

  • Step One: Get a notebook and a pen to write (don’t type–there’s something about the act of writing that makes it more effective).
  • Step Two: Place the notebook and pen on your nightstand.
  • Step Three: Before you fall asleep, write down three good things about your day.
  • Step Four: Write down the role you played in each of those three things. (For example, tonight I hope to write: “Started the process of 3 good things and introduced concept to others.”)
  • Step Five: Repeat nightly for at least 14 days. Er, nights.
  • Step Six: Bask in the short and long-term benefits.


What’s So Special About Three Good Things?

I won’t bore you with all the science, but know this: As humans, we’re hardwired to remember the negative. Our survival as a species depended on it. And while our rational thinking brains know there isn’t a saber-tooth tiger lurking behind the bushes, our stress response remains the same. We cling to negative thought patterns. Three Good Things retrains our brains to remember what’s positive and pay less attention to the yucky stuff.

I’m going to start tonight, and I’d love you to join me. Who’s in? Share your comments below.