Three Easy Tips to Be More Grateful
Updated: Oct 4, 2019
Of all the emotional intelligence traits we can build, scientists believe that gratitude is the easiest. For one, our brains love the chemical feedback loop. In one study researchers used an fMRI to measure the brain activity of participants experiencing different emotions, and found that gratitude lit up parts of the brain’s reward pathways and the hypothalamus, boosting serotonin and activating the brain stem to produce dopamine - all the feel good chemicals our body and our brains love.
Another great reason to practice gratitude is that it's super easy to get started and doesn't take much time. Here are a few simple gratitude practices to keep in your back pocket and take out often during Thanksgiving season and throughout the rest of the year.
1. Next time you sit around the breakfast or dinner table with your family, or at lunch with your coworkers, ask everyone to share one joyful moment of the day. What made them smile? What nice thing did someone do for you? What kind thing did you do for someone else? It's a terrific conversation started and makes for plenty of positive discussion.
2. Write down three things that made you smile on a sticky note and post it in a place that everyone can see. Do it once a week on a specific day so it becomes a habit - like "Thank You Thursdays" or "Mindful Mondays". Start a gratitude board at work or at home and watch how the happiness contagion spreads.
3. Send a text, snapchat, Facebook messenger, Instagram DM, you get the picture, to a friend, coworker, family member - whoever you want - and tell them how they made your week better. Again, plan it for a specific day of the week so it becomes a habit. It's so easy - just ask Siri to create a recurring alarm to remind you. Or, lock it in your Outlook calendar. Whatever technology tools you need to remind you to be grateful - use them. Using tech for good is a good thing.
Do you have any gratitude practices that you swear by? Let me know and I will add them to my next post!
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