The Scaredy-Cat Brain Chronicles
Letters to Amy: An easy way to turn a chore into Dopamine-filled fun.
What I love most about a Giggle Step is that it “opens a loop” in the brain.
The brain hates Open Loops! When it sees one, it wants to close it.
And therein lies the power of using a Giggle Step to make an Open Loop in my brain.
Here are some kitchen Open Loops I did first thing this morning:
- Washed one dish.
- Put away 5 clean forks from last night.
- Mopped the 2'x3' area in front of my refrigerator.
- Put 2 Vitamin D pills into a small cup.
- Put 4 tablespoons of health powder in a bowl.
I know many would read that list and think:
“WHYYYY???? That is INSANE!!!”
I’m specifically sharing these kitchen Giggle Steps because they look so nuts.
Just as nuts as when Stanford University Behavioral Psychologist and best-selling author of Tiny Habits, B.J. Fogg, got himself to floss his teeth every day by…
Only flossing one tooth a day to start.
Flossing that one tooth daily opened a loop in his brain. Soon his brain made him want to floss all his teeth every day. And he has ever since.
For the full story about Fogg’s tooth flossing habit, go here. That story inspired me to call baby steps “Giggle Steps” because when I give talks and tell his “Floss One Tooth Story,” there’s a ripple of giggles throughout the audience. The step has to be so small that it makes your brain giggle and you find yourself thinking, “Duh. I can do THAT!” Giggle Steps are the way to make habit change Easy Effortless Fun.
I’ve discovered that when I stop myself on purpose from completing a task, it creates an Open Loop in my brain. And neuroscience research reveals that the brain hates Open Loops! (I’ll write more later about this research.)
Then when I complete those 5 kitchen Giggle Steps, I get a feel-good Dopamine Hit.
And guess what feeling good about doing those 5 kitchen Giggles Steps does?
More often than not, I feel so good that I end up having fun doing my big overall task — which is to clean and organize all of my kitchen.
By opening loops I can make a big task (“clean the kitchen”) that I do not want to do…into a huge want to in my brain.
And voila! I’ve flipped a big…
“I DO NOT WANT TO” (= Feel Bad Cortisol Hit)
into a big
“I DO WANT TO SO BAD” (=Feel Good Dopamine Hit)
If none of this resonates with you, ignore it. But if it does resonate with you, try it! Let me know how it goes.
You may discover it’s a great way to turn a chore into feel-good, Dopamine-filled FUN!