Is Gratitude Worth the Trouble?
I know we here a lot about being thankful, grateful, etc. When life is not going well or you are feeling down or depressed- this feels downright impossible.
Let me give you just a brief overview of why gratitude is SO important and why it is worth all the trouble of starting down this path:
- Our brain gives MORE power to negative experiences. We need about 3 positive experiences for every 1 negative experience to feel neutral. If your brain is constantly rattling off a list of what is WRONG in your life- you will never get to a neutral mood- much less a positive happy one!
- Our brain gets into habits. It likes to take the path of least resistance. If your brain has been practicing anxiety, judgment, a critical nature, etc.- it will auto-pilot you into those areas. What that means for you is that gratitude, thankfullness and the joy that comes with it-usually don't happen naturally.
- Our thoughts impact our physical body. When you have thoughts that are negative- even they are FALSE they impact what chemicals are body pumps out. Try this little trick-if you are a woman say "I have testicular cancer" seriously to yourself. If you are a man say to yourself seriously "I have uterine cancer." Notice what happens to your body? Even though these are FALSE statements, our body pumps out a little bit of stress hormone with them. If your thoughts are false or half-false it isn't worth the stress. Even if the negative thought is true, giving it a huge portion of your mental energy isn't going to move you towards healing, solutions, acceptance, or anything but depression and anxiety.
I could say a TON more about how important gratitude and our thought life is- but if I haven't convince you by now- you probably aren't going to be convinced by a silly ol' blog! So, here is a way to start. It can be as simple or as complex as you make it. Write down 5 things that you are thankful for every day for the next week. It doesn't have to be big things- just write them down! Check in and notice how you feel before and after your practice.
Already practicing this basic thankfullness trick? Check out this advanced gratitude journal sheet. It forces you to go a little deeper in creating an attitude of forward motion and living with a purpose and intentionality.
Hope this helps you make a shift to feeling better today!
As always, available for free 15 minute phone consultation to help you find your path to healing! Give me a call at (209) 602-1513