More and more I understand just how important gratitude is to living a mindful and happier life! I want it to be the foundation of how I live, the lens I look at life through.
As part of a personal gratitude practice, I have started a “Gratitude Journal” as a place to record daily things, people, events that I am grateful for. They can be small, easily overlooked things such as how wonderful my morning coffee tastes on a particular day or biggies such as how much I appreciate going through life with Charlie.
This idea is to help my brain be more on the lookout for the good things that happen in life. I’m learning that my mind is trainable! I can develop skills to help me see the good that often goes unnoticed. Humans have survived all these centuries by being able to see danger and fight/flight/or freeze their way through it. The thing is that the primitive part of our brain that sees danger can be triggered by everyday stress or annoyances and react as if we our lives are threatened. Personally, I want to react less to the everyday annoyances and more to the everyday goodness in my life.
This is in no way meant to downplay or trivialize difficulties or suffering anyone is going through. It is meant to acknowledge the good and the blessings that are here too.
Here is a great book to read about this subject:
New Beliefs, New Brain: Free yourself from Stress and Fear by Lisa Wimberger
Also check out this video about Selective Awareness. It gives a great example of how our brains can operate and why a deliberate gratitude practice can make us happier:
What are you grateful for today?