The Attitude of Gratitude
I’ve been feeling down lately. It’s not easy to admit, but this past month has been really strange. Nothing too terrible has happened, but it seems like I’ve hit a streak of bad juju and it’s taken a toll on my normal happy self. I’ve found myself complaining, thinking negative thoughts, and wanting to leave Minnesota. Luckily, I frequent the yoga studio, and as an instructor and student I’m often reminded by my colleagues the impact of an finding gratitude on a daily basis. I did some more digging, and found out that the attitude of gratitude is scientifically proven to make one happier.
There are a lot of studies happening on how gratitude changes our brains. One recently had a group of participants write gratitude letters for three months then analyzed their brains with MRI’s. It showed that those who had practiced gratitude on a daily basis had different activity then those who were feeling guilt an stress. Other studios show that after consistently practicing gratitude, participants felt happier and more connected to others. On the other end, there are many studies out there that report that complaining physically rewires our brains to be negative.
When we feel physical sensations, neurons are triggered to work together. These neurons regroup, which leads our brains to bring up those same sensations and feelings easier. In other words, the more we complain, worry, and linger in negativity, the more that habit pattern is set in our brains making it easier and easier to bring up these feelings in our daily lives.
To counter the negative, the attitude of gratitude is key! I’m going to confront my sad slump with some gratitude. For the next several months, I’m going to think of five things I’m grateful for each day. I will start with them in the morning and anytime my mind starts to wander to somewhere negative and wants to complain, I’m going to repeat these things. I’m so blessed to live the life I live, yet somedays it feels like it’s not enough. I’ll report back with how the attitude of gratitude affects me. If you want to join me, please do, I would love to hear how it changes your perspective.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next week with another personal blog post 🙂