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The Power of Gratitude
Gratitude Tag by Eugene Kim @ Flickr
By Melissa Gettings, Legends Report Writer
“Research shows adopting an attitude of gratitude can overall improve your wellbeing by increasing happiness, reduce depression and strengthen resiliency. Grateful people often experience lower blood pressure, less pain more energy and are more likely to help others. People sleep better if they practice before bed”
― Taken from YouTube video below - “The science of gratitude”
Thoughts are powerful triggers and when they are repeated frequently, new neural pathways form. So it's literally like building the brain you want. If you want to build body muscle you lift weights and eat protein. If you want to build positive neural pathways you practice thinking and feeling gratitude.
These days being healthy isn't just about going to the gym and eating healthy. We need to build our mental strength as well as our physical. Why do we need to do this?
Our brains are naturally wired with negative pathways to alert us to danger, we also grow up having many limited beliefs and sometimes low self-esteem so we have to consciously focus on the positive until it becomes more natural.
I often hear people saying how they shouldn’t feel the way they do as there are people a lot worse off which is true, however, telling yourself off for the way you’re feeling and feeling guilty about it only creates more negativity. You have to accept how you feel and then find what you can be grateful for anyway even if it feels like there is nothing.
We can learn so much about this from Katie Piper (a former model in the UK) who was in a terrible state following the absolute horror of her boyfriend at the time throwing acid in her face, let alone the emotional effects of this. She was faced with numerous operations to her face.
It just shows us that however bad your life is, there is always something to be grateful for. In her book "It Gets Better" she shares this when;
“A tiny thought occurred to me, with my new face and all it had been through, at least I’d never worry about wrinkles and my skin aging! In some bizarre way, looking like I did could be liberating.”
Think about it, she is being grateful for something so simple as being able to blink. If she can get over what happened to her through the use of gratitude that shows how helpful it can be.
No one is going to take care of your mental health but you, it is your responsibility."
Where Do You Go To Build Your Mental Strength?
It depends on you! Find where your best “Gratitude Gym” is, in other words where you naturally feel gratitude. Maybe it is in nature, walking, sports or being around certain people or your children. There will be days with so much to feel grateful for and others we will have to dig deep. You can start a daily gratitude diary in whichever way works for you sometimes writing down on paper and keeping it where you can see it could work or on a phone app.
There are certain postures that are linked to various feelings so you can just try moving if you're sitting with your shoulders slouched or walking with your head down for example.
If you lift your head you will naturally start to feel better, yoga poses such as backbends literally open the space around your heart and you will feel more grateful, everything is linked with our bodies and minds. You could try a specific guided gratitude meditation or just slow down and take the time to think of these things purposefully each day.
One of the most important ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude however is to be around others who are also doing the same. There is an old adage that you “become like the 6 people you spend the most time with.”
It’s human nature to forget especially when we are cultivating new habits. Most people will read this article and resonate with how important gratitude is but then forget by tomorrow morning!
The key is building a consistent habit and being reminded as much as possible. Surrounding ourselves with people with a positive and appreciative outlook is one of the best ways to achieve this. If you’d like to join one of our mastermind groups to meet like-hearted people to do this, just reply below or talk to us on live chat.
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