Dr. Sexton is a social psychologist who specializes in emotional wellbeing and positive psychology at Duke University. Bryan is currently the Director of the Duke Center for Healthcare Safety. For almost two decades, Bryan has been researching: (i) the psychology of burnout, (ii) tools to enhance resilience, (iii) teamwork, (iv) relationships, (v) mindfulness, and (vi) emotion regulation. Today his research instruments are used around the world, including in over 3,000 hospitals across 30 countries.
Marc is an entrepreneurial-technologist who has designed and implemented technological solutions across a wide range of organizations. Marc was working on a social positivity tool. The tool would send positive messages, via text, to those who wanted to receive them. Initially, Marc developed this tool to help his son, who was going through a bit of a hard time. The popularity of the positive message texting tool quickly grew beyond what Marc expected. Because of the unexpected growth, Marc was looking for ways to make the tool better, and to add new functionality to help more users.
Matt, an experienced entrepreneur who has had multiple family members struggle with depression and anxiety, knew that the tools Dr. Sexton had been using for research purposes and were now proven, needed to be made available to the general public. At the same time, all three recognized that they didn’t want to profit from the suffering of others. Through discussions and meetings, the trio decided that a new company, Take2Minutes, needed to be launched as a non-profit to help people in need.
Over the last 40 years, the field known as “positive psychology” has become a serious and well-respected area of study, with significant data validating many of the solutions that have been created. Bryan introduced our group to research by the world’s leading positive psychologists, including Martin Seligman, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Christopher Peterson, Barbara Frederickson, and many more. This led our group to examine what was being done in the field of positive education, including the work being done by the University of Pennsylvania, the Geelong Grammar School, Kipp Charter Schools, and the Black Dog Institute. Positive education tools, like ours, focus not only on overcoming stress, anxiety and negative thoughts but also on building life skills, including grit, optimism, resilience, growth mindset, engagement, and mindfulness. Universities contributing research to the tools Take2Minutes uses include Duke University, The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, The University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Harvard, University of Wisconsin, University of Western Sydney, Centers for Confidence and Well Being, Czech Positive Psychology Center, University of California Berkeley, University of Birmingham England, Melbourne Graduate School, Claremont Graduate University, Stanford, University of Cambridge, Yale, Aarhus University, Anglia Ruskin University, Bucks New University, Case Western Reserve University, Claremont Graduate University, University of East London, North-West University, University of Lisbon, University of Sydney… and many more.
Going back to the original question of "Why do our tools work," hopefully you can now understand that our brains focus on the negative to keep us safe in a hostile world. However, we can change this behavior through neuroplasticity. You can teach your brain to focus on positive things. Through the research of many people we can understand that the amount of effort given to this process does not proportionately relate to the result received. Because of this, we are simply encouraging you to take 2 minutes a day for yourself. From this minimal amount of time, you can yield big results. The tools we have developed at Take2Minutes have been created and designed to help you do just that.