Upgrade Your Life With an Attitude of Gratitude

Upgrade Your Life With an Attitude of Gratitude

Changing your mindset can truly change your life. As Marcy Axness, Ph.D., says in her article, Gratitude, Upgrade Your Life, “When we focus our consciousness toward gratitude, beauty and communion, we weave peace into our very cells. This isn’t just flowery sentiment; this comes from leading-edge research in the fields of positive psychology and mind-body science.”

The Power of Thought

When we focus on the positive—beauty, gratitude, enjoyment—just as when we zero in on the negative—criticism, losses, everything that’s wrong—it’s like putting water and fertilizer on it, making either the positive or the negative flourish and multiply.

She explains how a habit of focusing on the positive can actually create pathways in our brain that make it easier for neurons to travel, so positive thinking becomes a habit.

Too often, though, we let ourselves dwell on the negative - poor performance on a test, a job interview that didn’t generate an offer, financial worries, or an argument with a loved one. When your brain seems stuck in a rut of negative thinking, Axness says you can stop the flow of negativity with these tried and true methods:

  • Breathe

  • Focus on gratitude

  • Notice and name your feelings

  • Smile

  • Nourish yourself

  • Connect with others

  • Do something

  • Appreciate the positive

Growth or protection?

You may have heard the expression, “If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.” Axness stresses a similar message, that organisms are always either in growth mode or in protection mode. That means our brains, our bodies, every one of our cells, is always either growing or in protection mode. She says that, by recognizing the impact your thoughts and attitudes have on your body - your brain, especially - you can shape yourself by choosing which story to tell. “This is where the power of gratitude and appreciation does its stuff,” she says.

Read the full article to learn more about how you can change your brain, your body, and your world, simply by adopting an attitude of gratitude.

You may also be interested in the podcast, It’s a Brain Changer! Meet the hosts of the show and learn more about it in our blog.