by Turpin Mott
CHIEF COMMUNITY OFFICER
WELLNESS & SELF-CARE · July 13th, 2018
Do you want more joy in your life? How about a greater peace of mind and appreciation for the good things?
Gratitude is the answer. But often, it doesn’t come naturally.
As long as humans have existed, our minds have been designed to keep us safe. Embedded in our brain is the instinct to avoid anything and everything perceived as dangerous. It’s what kept our ancient ancestors safe, enabling them to be wary of animals and the elements. And our minds have performed this job well. Otherwise, we may have gone extinct.
But today many of us do not have to worry about being eaten by lions, tigers or bears. Shelter and safety from nature’s aggressions come easy. Still, however, the mind remains programmed to hunt for danger. And whether it’s real or perceived, the typical reaction remains to fight, flight or freeze. Our instinct is to focus on what can hurt us.
That is why gratitude requires practice.
The practice of gratitude teaches the mind to look beyond danger and focus on beauty. Many experts believe that for a person to feel balanced, they need to think five positive thoughts to offset just one negative thought. And so, to achieve balance, we must practice. We must make a conscious effort to notice what we are grateful for in our everyday lives — both the simple and the complex. Fortunately, the practice is easy, and all it requires is your commitment.
Here are a few steps you can take to help you feel more grateful and bring more joy into your life:
Block five minutes on your calendar every week. Mark it “Notice Gratitude”. Be specific when you notice good things. Allow yourself to feel the emotion. Express them to yourself, or to others. Send handwritten thank you notes to the people in your life. Be creative and have fun.
Simple, right? And all it takes is practice.
Do you have any tips or thoughts on sharing gratitude? Share them in the comments below.
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by Turpin Mott