“The best way forward in life is to focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t have.”
– Anky Balfoort
Is It More Than Saying “Thank You”?
Gratitude is so much more than just a “thank you”. Being grateful creates positive emotions that we can carry along with us throughout our day. Neuroscience studies show that being grateful releases feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Gratitude is more than that momentary feeling of thankfulness. It is a deeper appreciation and will produce longer lasting positivity for you.
Studies, such as the one carried out by Martin Seligman – the founder of Positive Psychology – show that being consistently grateful for even 30 days can show a huge improvement in our positivity levels. Another benefit of practicing gratitude is that it strengthens our relationships. No one likes hanging out with a moaning minny! Give me a grateful and positive person any day. Being grateful is something you can feel each day without necessarily being given something. Simply being grateful to be alive can help you elevate your mood every morning. This will set you off to a great start! And then consciously noticing other things you’re grateful for throughout the day will keep positivity flowing.You’ll also find that by doing this you’re more mindful and present in the moment which helps to combat anxiety and stress.
Benefits of Gratitude
Improved Well-being – Being grateful and expressing gratitude can improve your life satisfaction and make you happier, more open and feel less anxious.
Enjoy Deeper Relationships – When you feel gratitude for those in your life, it will help you to maintain your positive relationship with them and leave you more satisfied with your connection.
Feel More Optimistic About Life – When you consistently practice more gratitude in your life, you will begin to see a positive impact in all areas of your life.
Better Physical and Mental Health – By feeling less negative and anxious about what you are not getting out of life, you will reduce the stress chemicals cortisol and adrenaline. This will not only improve your mental health but your physical health as well. There are many studies that have shown that ongoing high levels of cortisol will make you more susceptible to being sick. The Mayo Clinic, for example, warns that stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many ongoing health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
- Try this tonight… Just before you go to sleep, instead of focusing on the stress of tomorrow, take a moment to think about all the positive things that have happened during the day. It would be helpful to start a gratitude journal. Then, when you’re going trying times, it’ll be easier to remember that there are many good things in your life as well. That will give you hope.
- In the morning… even if it’s a “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” kind of morning – think of three things that you are grateful for, that make you laugh or that you do well. Doesn’t matter if they are small or big.
- This is such a helpful technique to teach your kids too. Spend time with them before bed and ask them what they are grateful for. Doing this together as a family is a great idea and instills a wonderful positive habit for life.
If you want to change your life around this year, find out how to use the power of positive thinking to get there.