Today, let us swim wildly, joyously in gratitude. – Rumi
Day 3 is upon us. Have you felt yourself shift? Whether you have or you haven’t, gratitude is always a game changer. If you already have a gratitude practice, that is awesome, and lets see if we can add to it.
Why do we need to embrace and practice gratitude? Gratitude is scientifically proven to make you happier and healthier, yup..SCIENE. Through gratitude you can actually wire your brain for happiness. When we build gratitude into our brain we set our default state of being to be happier and more resilient to stress. Building stress resilience alone is a tremendous benefit because when you are resilient the negative effects of stress aren’t as severe. Are you thinking that it’s too late for you? Guess what, it isn’t. Neuroscience has found in the recent decade that Neuroplasticity exists. This means through practice and regular habit you can rewire connections, or even create new connections in the brain!
Lets add some gratitude to our Self-Care! First- Add gratitude to your evening routine. This can be sharing the three things you are grateful for with your spouse, family, kids or friends…..or grab a gratitude buddy and text or voice message them. Each evening reflect on the three things you were grateful for that day, big or small, no matter how simple. Second – Feel your gratitude. While you are expressing your three things take a moment for each thing and feel the emotion of gratitude, let yourself connect with that feeling for each thing. Associating the gratitude and the feeling in your body is a powerful combo. Third – Wake up grateful. Practice gratitude in the morning for one thing that is going to happen in the day that will be awesome. This takes a little faith because you have to believe that the awesome is going to happen and then be grateful for something that hasn’t happened yet. This is also a really powerful combination of setting your mindset for a good day. So take the leap and be grateful for the presentation you are going to rock, the dinner you are going to make, the workout you are going to crush or the parking spot you are going to snag. It can be anything.
Bonus – Challenge Yourself – If things are not going as you want them to in life, if there is a negative experience that has been holding you back, or that you are going through right now, try to be grateful for the negative experience even if you can’t see why it has happened or how it can possibly serve you. This is something I work on in my meditations and something I find difficult but life changing. Being grateful for a negative experience or circumstance, before you can see the lesson, or the strength that has given you, puts you in a more resilient place to overcome this and future adversity.
When my oldest son was born 2 months premature it was a difficult and scary time. I was sick, he was in the NICU, we hadn’t finished the nursery yet. I was devastated, heartbroken and scared. There was no way to know what the future held. I tried to focus on being grateful that everyone was healthy, everyone was alive and we would go from there. What I realized later was that because my son had a true knot in his umbilical cord, and the way it was situated, if he had been full term he likely wouldn’t have survived. There was no way for us to know there was a knot and no way to prevent it. The early delivery saved us both, and that is a negative experience I am deeply grateful for.
Adding Gratitude before bed will also become a part of your winding down routine before bed, which is perfect because tomorrow we are talking about one of my favorite subjects – SLEEP!! See you tomorrow.