I would like you all to know how very grateful I am for you. Thank you for receiving my posts, for taking the time to ponder their message, for taking a moment to leave me a comment, for sharing with me your insight and wisdom, and thank you for sharing it with others. I appreciate you inspiring me, for keeping your hearts open to light and love and infinite possibilities. Thank you for being curious, for being vulnerable, for practicing with me, and for helping to create so many ripples that we've caused a tsunami! I am truly grateful for each of you.
Being grateful is something that I have incorporated into a daily practice. At a minimum, in the morning and before bed each day, recounting and expressing gratitude for the many blessings throughout my day and in my life. This practice has changed and enhanced my life. Gratitude changes the lens upon which we see everything in the world. Have you tried it yet? Do you have a gratitude practice?
I have spent lots of time studying and researching positive psychology and happiness and the one thing that consistently comes up over and over again is the power of gratitude in leading a positive, happy life. It's truly a game changer!!!
Our brains are programmed for a negatively bias. We are 3-5 times more sensitive to negative information. Our brains are trained to scan the world for the negative, for the threats, so that it can help us to survive. Our brain is like velcro for negativity and teflon for positivity.
Negative emotions put us into fight or flight mode and narrow our ability to think. Positive emotions broaden and build our brain's ability to think and see. Positive emotions flood the brain with dopamine and serotonin. Chemicals that not only make us feel good, but that dial up the learning centers of our brains. This helps us to organize new information, to keep the information longer and retrieve it faster.
There are many scientifically documented advantages to having a positive brain versus a negative brain. So how does this all relate to giving thanks? Gratitude is a system to offset the negativity. It amplifies the goodness. Gratitude is the gateway to happiness, the gateway to the advantages of having a positive mindset.
When life is going well gratitude allows us to celebrate the success. When life feels like it is going poorly and we are challenged, gratitude gives us perspective. Gratitude is an engine for holistic change. When you are grateful for what you have, you make energetic space for more abundance to flow into your life. When feeling grateful you feel more open, generous, connected, aware and alive.
This week, in honor of Thanksgiving, I invite you to go deeper with your gratitude practice. Each day journal at least 3 new things that you are grateful for, be as specific as you can. Or, take a few minutes each day to write a thank you note to someone, thanking or praising them for something they have done to make your life lighter and brighter.
Make gratitude a routine, independent of how you feel and not just on Thanksgiving, but all year long. This Thanksgiving, don’t express gratitude only when you feel it. Give thanks especially when you don’t feel it. Go ahead and fake it until you make it :)