Happiness Is More Than Just A Feeling

Happiness Is More Than Just A Feeling

Be Obsessively Grateful

Crazy, hard to believe 2021 is almost coming to a close. Just about a year ago we were all so thrilled to say goodbye to 2020, now we’re just 2 months shy of welcoming in 2022. Now, I know the majority of this world is operating under some serious heavy energy but there is no better time than November, the month most noted for the expression of gratitude, to remind ourselves that often times “happiness” is more than just a feeling but rather a choice.

Hands down, if I had to pick only one most impactful mindset tool out there, it would be undoubtedly the daily practice of gratitude. It is the most powerful and simple way to squash negativity dead in its tracks.

Bottomline, the mind cannot focus on two things at once, by taking some time to relish in the good we can literally cancel out the bad.  Feelings of gratitude directly activate brain regions associated with the neurotransmitter, dopamine, and there is a ton of research proving how gratitude can work as an anti-depressant and send signals of safety and hope to our brains. 

So powerful yet so simple. 

Here’s another great way to expand on the practice of gratitude. This one I came across while reading the book,  Learned Hopefulness by Dan Tomasulo and has become a favorite part of my daily routine.

There’s a lot of really fascinating research around the concepts behind “hope” and benefits it has for cultivating greater positive emotions. Truth is we are all hard wired toward a negativity bias, I’ve written on this before (revisit here). Typically, if we are asked to look back on our previous day’s activity, we tend to view it in a very matter of fact way and likely hone in on what we didn’t accomplish or what didn’t go well.

Dan Tomasulo suggests to do the opposite, to literally list everything we can remember about our days activities but this time through the lens of gratitude. Taking two separate pieces of paper where we first just list out all we can recall. Trying not to leave anything off, from taking out the garbage to conversations we had throughout the day, and then using that list as a reference to now write about the same time period finding the good.

This small adjustment, tweak in perception is enough to activate different parts of our brain that were masked by the negativity bias, finding hidden gems altering our perception and opening us up to more positivity.

Honestly, it’s a game changer!

But one small caveat, as with any gratitude practice this is not a one hit wonder, the negativity bias is deeply ingrained in all of us, practicing gratitude is something we need to keep front and center.

 Just try out this exercise for one week and I assure you’ll feel the difference!

Wishing You Always The Very Best Of Success



































































































































































Power Of Gratitude

Power Of Gratitude

A 21 Day Challenge.

No better time than November to welcome everyone to my 21 Day Gratitude Challenge. Why give thanks? Bottomline, counting our blessings is good for us! Research shows the benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. Why 21 days? Because most experts agree that’s what it takes to establish a new habit and for many has proven to be manageable yet life changing. I have found it is through the consistency and accumulation of the practice where people will experience the most profound difference in how they feel and as a result wind up sticking with it well beyond this challenge.

How It Works:

1. Buy a journal, notebook or grab a blank pad, whatever you prefer, and find yourself a pen.

2. Write down a minimum of 3 things each day that you are grateful for. They can be as simple as having a perfectly hot and tasty cup of coffee that morning, a seamless commute into work or getting kids off to school, maybe a great workout or funny text exchange with a good friend that literally had you laughing out loud.

3. Be as specific as possible. Rather then just saying “I am grateful for my job”.  State why. For example “I love the people I work with”. Or “I am grateful that my job allows me to have flexible work hours so I can still be available to my children”.

4. Try turning negatives into positives. For example:

• Though today I got stuck waiting over 45 minutes to be seen by my doctor I was able to catch up on my emails.

Though now with a sprained ankle I can’t work out like I prefer, today I joined that mediative restorative yoga class I’ve been wanting to check out.

5. Shake it up, avoid duplicating your list. Try not to state the same things more than once-this is how you learn to flex your gratitude muscle.

6. Every day, review the list from the day before. And at the end of the week, read them all.

7. Most importantly stay consistent. Establish a routine, decide on a set time of day to reflect and write. If need be, schedule it on your calendar and have your computer/phone send you a reminder for the next 21 days.

My hope will be that once you become oriented toward looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures and things that you previously took for granted. Learning that gratitude isn’t just a reaction to getting what we want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where we notice the little things and even the good in unpleasant situations. 

Wishing Everyone A Very 

Happy Thanksgiving!