Amplify Your Attitude of Gratitude – The Secret to Lasting Transformation
Are everyday challenges and demands making you feel stressed out? Take a moment and just breathe, because I’m going to share a secret with you that is guaranteed to make your day and life better.
It all begins with asking yourself, “What am I grateful for today?”
Did you know this simple question is powerful enough to change your brain’s chemistry? It’s true! When you experience gratitude, neural circuits are activated in your brain and the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin increase, which produces a calming effect.
So take a moment and pick one thing you’re grateful for today. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Maybe your spouse brought you a cup of coffee or someone waved to you as you drove past this morning. Allow yourself to really engage in an attitude of gratitude…
Think how wonderful the sip of strong hot coffee tasted as you watched the morning sunrise. Fully experience how that kind act makes you feel cared for and valued. How you feel blessed to have a good friend. How you feel validated as a fellow human being. How you’re not alone but are connected to a community of people who love you.
Now let’s take it a step further and think about how you can express this gratitude. Could you perhaps write a note of appreciation to that special person, telling him what you appreciate and why? Can you pass on the kindness to the next person you encounter? Don’t hold it in. Pay it forward.
Even better than that, the more you stimulate these neural pathways, the stronger and more automatic they become. This is an example of Hebb’s Law, which states “neurons that fire together wire together.” The more you do it, the easier it becomes to hold a grateful state of being.
If you make gratitude a daily practice, you will transform your life. Negative events will recede from your view. Sure they’ll still be there, but you won’t focus on them. Instead you’ll rewire your brain to focus on the positive. You’ll see what’s going right in your life. Even in the most difficult situations, you’ll be able to find that nugget of good when you ask yourself, “What can I learn from this? When I look back on this experience, what will I be grateful for?”
Even if an attitude of gratitude doesn’t come to you naturally, with practice you can train yourself to shift your focus as you search for, discover, and appreciate genuine reasons to feel gratitude. Why not turn every situation into a mental game of challenging yourself to find one thing that’s worthy of your appreciation, and keep focused on that.
It helps to limit your exposure to negativity. If the conversation takes a negative turn, you can change the subject or excuse yourself. If the news is distressing you, turn off the TV. Tactfully let the Debbie Downers that you don’t appreciate negativity and this may actually help them to become more mindful. At the very least, you can be grateful that they no longer push your buttons.
I recommend you keep a gratitude journal and daily enter at least five things for which you’re grateful. The act of writing it down is a powerful way to shift your attitude of gratitude into overdrive. When you begin and end each day with gratitude, your whole life shifts in a more positive direction.
An attitude of gratitude is just one way to experience life more fully. Please feel free to contact me and schedule a complementary “Unlocking Your Potential” session. In the meantime, I must write in my gratitude journal…”I’m grateful for everyone who reads my blog and comments on my Facebook page. I’m blessed to have such a fantastic community of people who enrich my life.” I’ll be watching for your comments.