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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

#straightfromcait: Teach Your Brain That You're Safe, and It Will Grow New Nerve Cells

Updated: Sep 28, 2022


Did you know that the items you choose to surround yourself with have a direct impact on your happiness AND your productivity? Sure, you may naturally feel more content when wrapped up in a cozy blanket or holding your favorite mug. But, did you know that the items you find most comforting and beautiful produce visible changes in your brain?

On this week’s #straightfromcait episode, I share findings from three neuroscience studies showing the power of visually appealing objects to shape our brain. Learn about the changes in our brain that occur when we are under large amounts of stress and how we can use our environment to counteract these negative outcomes in a meaningful way.

If you have an everyday object that you find particularly beautiful or that adds to your sense of contentment when you are in a given space, I’d love to hear from you. Join our FRIED. The Burnout Podcast Facebook Group if you haven’t already and share with us! We’re all in this together – let’s give ourselves the best possible chance of a full burnout recovery.


  • “When you experience something that is beautiful to you, it makes you feel like you just got a treat, and it makes it easier to make decisions that are based on what you actually want from life.” (3:44-3:53)

  • “Your brain becomes more sensitive to threat the longer you experience stress, which means that you might be interpreting threat when there is none.” (4:46-4:57)

  • “I want you to take a look at your workspace and ask yourself if there is anything you can do to make the lines around you softer.” (8:25-8:30)

  • Absorb this idea that you can utilize your environment to help shape your brain and to give yourself the best possible chance of full burnout recovery.” (10:38-10:50)


Bar, Moshe, and Maital Neta. “Visual Elements of Subjective Preference Modulate Amygdala Activation.” Neuropsychologia, vol. 45, no. 10, 2007, pp. 2191-2200. 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2007.03.008.

Gourley, Shannon L., et al. “The Medial Orbitofrontal Cortex Regulates Sensitivity to Outcome Value.” Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 36, no. 16, 2016, pp. 4600-4613. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4253-15.2016.

Ishizu, Tomohiru, and Semir Zeki. “Toward A Brain-Based Theory of Beauty.” PLOS One, 2011,



If you know that it’s time to actually DO something about the burnout cycle you’ve been in for too long - book your free consult today:


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