We know what you may be thinking…
I’m not that negative!! I am a glass half full kind of guy!! I always see the silver lining!
That’s what you think until you hear the truth that, depending on the study you look at, 70%-80% of our thoughts are negative, and 95% are on repeat every day.
Unless you actively choose to kick that beer belly of your mind (aka your negative thoughts) to the curb by doing your brain training, you will default to the negative thoughts. The studies confirm it.
‘But Brenda’, you’re thinking, ‘I am already thankful for what I have in my life… so why would I need to practice gratitude?’
Well, practicing gratitude has a multitude of benefits ranging from improvements in your emotional state, social life, personality, career and overall health.
Did you know that spending five minutes each day writing down what you are thankful for enhances your life-long happiness by over 10%?!
This boost in happiness has several effects on your emotions — it enhances your positive emotions, increases self-esteem, elevates your psychological well-being and can even decrease suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Say what??!! That’s a long list of benefits!!!
When you take the time to appreciate the world around you and all that you have, you gain the ability to feel positively about your life and you change the lens in which you view the world.
When you only see the negative, you’re shining a light on the negative and you can hardly see any positive that falls outside of that spotlight. When you shine the light on all you’re grateful for, it’s hard to focus on the negative aspects that fall outside the spotlight.
So… how can you implement gratitude into your everyday life?
Really, it is simple!
Set aside five or ten minutes a day for your gratitude — it can be anytime throughout the day! It’s best if you start your day out this way as it sets the stage for your day, but we here at Modig are all about progress, not perfection. So you do it whenever it works for you, and whenever you remember. You can’t overdue this exercise!
During these five or ten minutes, take time to reflect on your life and give thought to what you are thankful for in your life. You can write this down in a journal if you wish, but even simply setting the time aside each day to think about what you are grateful for can have robust benefits!
Writing will yield you better results as you get more buy-in from your brain, it causes you to increase your memory of what you’re thankful for, and cultivates creativity allowing you to start a chain reaction of things you now recognize as being grateful for.
When you do this regularly, it’s like training your brain to run “the marathon of gratefulness.” Just like you can’t run a marathon without training for months in advance, you can’t automatically be thankful in life without training your neuropathways to think this way.
This requires daily repetition of not only identifying what you’re grateful for, but actually feeling how grateful you are when you are jotting them down.
If you’ve followed us long enough, you know it’s not enough just to think something or visualize it, you have to experience the feelings associated when you are experiencing something you’re thankful for for it to have the full effect!
So why wouldn’t you take just a few minutes a day and start to reprogram your brain to see all the glorious things in life??! Well, you’d only do that if you want to stay in the negative mindset. But we high achievers aren’t ok with that, are we??
So what are you waiting for? Grab a pen, devote a journal to your gratitudes, sit back and record your gratitudes and see just how quickly your mindset shifts! And best of all, you’ll get to look back in those times of doubt and frustration in life and see just how good your life is.
Because after all, where focus goes, energy flows!!! You might as well let it flow in the direction of things you’re grateful for!!
Brenda Lee is a Leadership Development and Team Building expert to some of the world’s most exciting entrepreneurs and professionals who have all the trappings of success but have hit a barrier they are ready to breakthrough.