Pay attention, It makes you happier.
Gratitude literally rewires your brain to be happier… but you have to be aware and live in the moment to be healthier and happier.
How often do we go about our day rushed, hurried and preoccupied and don’t even register when we say thank you because we’ve learnt its polite and almost like a reflex- said without any thought?
How often do we smile with no recognition- we smile at the little robin jumping along the fence panel every morning on the way out for the school run- yet we don’t register this response? We don’t give that positive behaviour of a smile any mental thought, we just carry on to get to the car and strap the kids in, running through in your head if you’ve got everything.
By making small positive changes to the way you go about your day can rewire your brain into a more positive and happy brain- leading to a more positive and happy life.
Little things like really meaning it and paying attention to your words, when you say, ‘thank you’, take 2 seconds to really feel that thanks. When you spot that little robin dancing on the fence just register the fact you are smiling, appreciate the fact he is there yet again to say good morning “Oh that little robin just made me smile, what a lovely start to the day” maybe even a “good morning Mr Robin” said out loud with a smile to the little gift of nature.
All of my clients are given the gift of a little notebook at the initial consultation on which they are encouraged to record every evening all the things that have been good that day, all the things that have made them smile. This simple act can lead to so many positive changes in your life- anyone can do this, find a little notebook, use the notes in your phone or have the conversation with your loved one before bed. Recording these moments in life can produce a wonderful record of all the positives in your life that are there for you to revisit and think about whenever you want to or whenever you may need to for a boost of positivity.
Psychologists Dr Robert Emmons and Dr Michael McCullough published a study in 2015 that looked at the physical outcomes of practising gratitude. At the end of the 10-week study, the gratitude group that had done a very similar record to that which I encourage all clients to partaker in, reported feeling more optimistic and positive about their lives, alongside being more physically active and fewer reported visits to a doctor. Physical changes also included improved sleep quality and reduced feelings of anxiety and depression.
Gratitude affects brain function on a chemical level and its practice promotes feelings of self-worth and compassion for others, having long-lasting effects that are psychologically protective.
The more you look, the more you can find to be grateful for.