It’s that time of year where so many of us count our blessings or perhaps say what we are grateful for as we dive into turkey, pie and football or before opening presents. But, did you know gratitude is more than just saying what you are thankful for? Gratitude is the antidote to fear, anxiety and stress. It’s a dose of happiness, wellbeing, and even optimism, despite the odds.
Studies have proven that gratitude can actually enhance your creative problem solving abilities. When you experience positive emotions you tap more of your mind.
When you are stressed out your thinking is more rigid, reducing your creative thinking. When you are less stressed you are more open to innovative ideas, and able to make more meaningful connections that lead to new ideas.
According to the StressRX founder, Pete Sulack, gratitude affects the limbic system of your brain, replacing fear, dread, doubt and cynicism with gratitude, joy and possibility.
Sometimes when I’m stuck on a particularly sticky challenge, or heading into what I know is going to be a stressful situation, I’ll take 5-minutes to write down what I’m grateful for in the moment and how that gratitude makes me feel. Often that list includes small things like a hot cup of coffee, or my warm house slippers.
Here are three easy things you can do to reduce stress and increase gratitude:
#1 List out 10 things you are grateful for. Ten may seem like a lot but it will push you to look past the obvious and find gratitude in the small and often unnoticed things.
#2 Take 5-minutes to record your emotions. After you make your list, think about the feelings gratitude brings to you. Perhaps it’s joy, peace, or simply feeling less stressed. This will help connect your brain to the “happy” feelings that come with gratitude.
#3 Practice daily. Writing down what you are grateful for every day isn’t just about being a good person, it’s also about continuing to open up those creative problem solving skills and positive emotions. This will set you up to have a more successful day, every day.
Here are the 10 things I am grateful for today:
#1 Cocowhip in my coffee
#2 My dog snoring in the background
#3 Starting my Mondays with my community on our 10-minute bursts
#4 Get to live a city and a ranch life (I love both)
#5 The painting my man made me for my birthday
#6 The most delicious omelet I ate this morning
#7 Our Elite IQE coaches that teach me daily
#8 Funny morning texts with my sister
#9 Watching boys drive off to school together
#10 Coffee, all the coffee today
Emotions it brings up for me:
Joy, satisfaction in my efforts, hunger to do more, joy, impactful, giddy
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