Gratitude is one of my favourite subjects and something i really do credit with turning my mindset and my life around 4 years ago.
It has however, become a bit of a buzz word recently and something that is being now deemed to be a bit ‘fluffy’.
So I want to talk to you about all the reasons you need to stand up, pay attention and flex that gratitude muscle if you want to change your life because gratitude is anything but fluffy.
Once you know and can understand that it’s not a fluffy subject and is backed by countless studies, research and neuroscience the more likely you are to make it a regular practice.
If you’re prone to focusing a little too much on the negatives (ok, ok…let’s be honest a lot too much on the negatives! then you need to have a gratitude practice in your life if you want that to change.
It is a direct challenge to your negative thought patterns and the quickest way to flip it all around in my opinion.
When you’re grateful about what you’ve got you’re not focusing on all the things you don’t have.
You’re not stuck in fear or anxiety. You’re SO much happier. You sleep better. You’re healthier. You even take more action thanks to the lovely Dopamine hits that your brain rewards you with.
It makes stressful situations less so and increases your resilience. It allows you to recover MUCH more quickly from things that go wrong.
It even makes you a nicer person!! People that practice regular gratitude are found to have more empathy, are kinder and more supportive of others.
In a famous study by Robert Emmons, it was found that gratitude allows you to ‘train’ your prefrontal cortex (memory and emotion) to keep hold of the positive memories and let go or reject the more negative ones. I mean…worth putting some effort into this right?
It’s what’s known in Positive Psychology as an ‘intervention’. When you’re struggling with negative emotions simply take the time to think about what and who you’re grateful for and you can get yourself right back on track. It’s often described as the antidote to fear and anxiety which is something that can rear its ugly head a lot when you’re trying to make a big change or achieve anything big like pushing your business forward or pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.
It’s like a little magic potion and I want people to understand how powerful it is so they can stop rolling their eyes and thinking it’s fluffy and actually start doing the work rather than staying stuck where they’re at.
Plus…its effects are long lasting.
The more you flex your gratitude muscle the more natural it comes to you.
The more you work it the stronger it gets. You train your brain to think in that way through a process called neuroplasticity where you’re literally creating new neural connections. Over time it becomes how you look at everything in your life.
Some of the happiest people in the world are from some of the poorest places, they have absolutely nothing but they are SO grateful for what they do have, they’re just happy to be alive. So it really is something that anyone can find, whatever the situation.
The brain rewards gratitude. It activates the brain’s reward centre leading you to seek more of the same. It releases both Dopamine and Serotonin which are all about making you feel good. The more you’re rewarded for it, the more you’ll do it, then the more reward you’ll get again! Whoohoo!
If you’re predisposed to be a bit of a negative Nelly which can really get in your way when you want to achieve big things (in the form of self-doubt, seeing all the reasons things ‘can’t’ or ‘won’t’ work, you know…all the usual mindset gremlins!) and change your life for the better then this is the simplest and easiest way to achieve that.
Gratitude has positive physical, health, social, emotional and physiological benefits and it’s so bloomin easy to do!!
Simple as that. Studies show that in as little as two weeks you will feel a major difference in your own well being and in time all the other amazing benefits I’ve mentioned will find their way into your life. Front and centre.
If you want a double whammy boost do it as the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night.
Helloooo restful sleep! It also means that you’ll never get out of the wrong side of the bed in the morning!
The more you start to find these things to be grateful for the more your brain will actively look for them…and the more you’ll see. That’s a great little thought loop to be in! The more you do it the more your brain will get rewired to have Gratitude as your path of least resistance, your go to emotion even when things get tough.
Keep a rolling list somewhere you can get to it when you’re out and about. If you’re a paper person keep a little notebook and pen in your bag, if you’re more digital make a note in your phone. Easy peasy!
Gratitude letters are amazing! So many times we keep all our grateful thoughts to ourselves. If you spend time writing to someone who you’re truly grateful for it will make you feel amazing, you will feel all the Dopamine rushing in and will really allow yourself to feel grateful.
You don’t even have to send it…but if you do…hold tight for all the warm and fuzzies coming your way and that you’re giving to the person you send it to.
You can even simply send a text to the people you appreciate and tell them why. They’ll feel amazing too. Bonus!
If you want a little accountability while you’re creating your regular practice then rope in a buddy.
Every morning and/or evening send them your 3 things you’re grateful for, and they send you theirs.
It’s such a lovely way to do it because you have the accountability, you also get to get involved in their gratitude too and the likelihood is that you’ll remind each other of even MORE things you’re grateful for.
Close your eyes (after you’ve read this!) Think of someone or something you’re grateful for.
Really bring it to mind and feel the gratitude towards them, say thank you to that person or thing and open your eyes. That simple. 30 seconds of your time and a lovely little boost of Dopamine and Serotonin in your day, lovely stuff!
In my group everyone’s favourite day is thankful Thursday. It’s become peoples regular gratitude practice and everyone always feels amazing after posting their three things on a Thursday morning.
It really is that simple. Not only do they love posting theirs but they love reading everyone else’s, it can be a powerful thing to declare what you’re grateful for publicly. Thursdays are my favourite too 🙂
To summarise, if you want things in your business and your life to be more positive, feel easier, you want to feel less resistance, be able to bounce back quicker, be a better person, be happier, sleep better, be healthier, less anxious…this list could go on for a while!
If you want that for yourself, and for everyone around you then give it a go. IT’s so so simple there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for so if you struggle to begin with, start small. You’ll soon see it spiral.
If you want to explore this further, have any questions or want some accountability then come join me in my private community below or book in a free discovery call HERE to see if we’re a good fit to work together!!
Fran Excell, Subconscious Success Mentor – Helping Business Owners Overcome Self Sabotage & Get More Done In Less Time at www.franexcell.com
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© 2023 Fran Excell. Success mindset mentor for entrepreneurs & executives.
[…] Gratitude physically changes your brain. The research is overwhelming, it’s fact. Through neuroplasticity by thinking about what you’re grateful for you actually create new neural pathways that change your thought patterns and those lovely positive vibes start to be your default rather than the negative thought patterns you’re used to. I teach people to make gratitude a daily habit and the changes in their mindsets are phenomenal. Essentially you can think of the brain as having a gratitude muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. […]