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