If you ask people what they WANT more than anything else in their life....
the VAST MAJORITY, without hesitation, will say.... happiness.
Then, if you ask them what they want for their children...
the percentage who say happiness - goes up even higher.
So, if everyone is WANTING happiness, why don't we have it?
I have personally been in that EXACT boat,
rowing around looking for happiness.
And, of course I would find it on occasion.
Sometimes it would last for weeks, sometimes months,
and a few times it even stayed around several YEARS.
But, it wasn't until I began to understand
that I realized WHY it never lasted.
The answer to THAT question
actually sits right INSIDE the very question itself.
People want HAPPINESS,
but MOST of us are totally unaware
that the word happiness
comes from the Indo-European root HAP
without exception, as far back as Ancient Greek Civilization,
which means LUCK!
So.... happiness, or happy
refers to happenstance
or a CHANCE HAPPENING-
NO WONDER I was never able to HOLD ON to my happiness.
The word itself means it is based on WHAT WAS HAPPENING in my LIFE.....
so, when it was good, I was happy, and when it was bad, I was upset.
I know that many people reading this are saying....
DUH..... of course that's how it works.
BUT... that's the difference in GRATITUDE!
That's NOT how it works.
SCIENTIFIC Gratitude (the kind that has FEELING)
is not based on what's happening
and CAN be taught and practiced
REGARDLESS of one's circumstances.
And... GRATITUDE teaches you to enjoy the HAPPY moments differently
so that they create lasting connections in the brain
releasing chemicals throughout your body
to produce happiness!
Take a look at my recent trip to New York with my family.
OF COURSE this was an easy one to be happy about
because the (EVENTS (happenstance) surrounding me were in my favor),
however, I could have also chosen to focus on
the stress of being in a BIG CITY,
the worry of the subway,
all the zillion stories I'd heard about muggers and dangerous drivers;
but I focused on the fact that
I had my 2 precious grown children there with me
and their significant others,
as well as my son's dear in-law family who I call my own.
I truly cherished EVERY minute
and stopped to FEEL the moments
as I looked at their grown-up bodies,
watched their adult smiles,
listened to their sibling laughter,
WHILE we felt the stressful hustle and bustle of the big city.
I HELD-ON to these memories
in a way I never used to understand,
because happiness is short-lived
and often fleeting... based on the MOMENT, but
GRATITUDE is a genuine sense of awe
that you can hold on to for a LIFETIME!
One of my favorite scientists, and world renowned GRATITUDE expert, Dr. Robert Emmons said it best... "Happiness is an inch deep and an inch wide and changes quickly but GRATITUDE is a mile deep and a mile wide and can withstand the storm."
Start today building a life with a goal to be GRATEFUL rather than HAPPY.
JOIN us for the 21 day GRATITUDE BOOST online course.
Starting September 1st
21 days could change your LIFE!
Today on the BLOg.... Just add SCIENCE, and maybe some coffee too!
I've talked very openly about how I tried for years to "GET HAPPY"
(even with a big smile on my face)
and became obsessed with reading books about it
and trying everything I could find to "get IT" for myself.
Nothing seemed to work in the long run though,
until I began learning about my brain.
When our professor explained how EMOTIONAL situations lock-in
our memory banks very differently than other life events... I was hooked.
Then we went on to learn how our brains are built to protect us
from the emotional traumas of our past
and remind us ANY TIME a situation similar to that feels TRIGGERED.
The problem with that however,
is that our brains log the information from a perspective
of the situation you were in AT THAT MOMENT,
and it doesn't differentiate that THIS ONE
comes from a new place in our life.
ALL your brain remembers
is THIS HURT,
or THIS SCARED YOU,
or THIS IS DANGEROUS,
and it starts sending in the chemicals for your body
to "REACT" as if it is in that SAME SITUATION again
so that you can take appropriate action.
This is my issue I am dealing with at the moment!
I was in a 4 car pile up a few years ago
where a man hit me from behind and pushed me
into the car in front of me and then that car into another car.
So..... My little car got smashed from the front and the back.
This seems bad enough,
but BRADY, my son (who was 9 at the time) was in the backseat
where the blunt force of the hit landed.
Any mother out there will know
the immediate fear that comes with something like that.
We were both fine, but I can tell you my BRAIN has NOT let that go!
I feel my own fear rising every single time I get in the car,
and I watch the rearview mirror constantly.
After that event, I was hit in the back of the car 2 other times
over the course of the following year,
both from people ON THEIR PHONES....
so now the fear has risen even higher.
My brain logged that fear and protection for my son
into my emotional brain,
and now each time I see a car coming (what I feel like is too close)
in the rearview mirror, I have to really talk myself off the PANIC ledge.
That's the same thing we do with every UPSETTING emotion!
And often times we blame someone
for REMINDING us of something
that was done to us by SOMEONE ELSE!
That's where SCIENCE can play a role that other methods do not offer.
Here is a great site for those of you who want to dig a little deeper into TRIGGERS.
Understanding how to CATCH your "Triggers"
is crucial to changing your emotional path.
I have said numerous times.... and still hold firm
to the theory
that most people don't have 20 fights,
instead they have 1 fight 20 times.
And sadly, we often take out our negative emotions on those we love the most (unknowingly) because they've said or done something that set off our emotional TRIGGER.
If you'd like to know more about "CATCHING" your triggers
and how GRATITUDE can be used to counteract them,
I'd love you to join us in the 21 Day GRATITUDE BOOST eCourse.
thegratitudebusiness.com/gratitude-programs/Click HERE for more details.
Or, if you'd like to work on this on your own,
try using a journal for the next few weeks
keeping tabs of each time you feel-
and jot down EXACTLY what was happening at the time!
It's that time of year again when EVERYTHING gets CRAZY!!!
Did you realize that other than the end of the year holiday season,
BACK TO SCHOOL
is one of the most stressful times of the year? Well it is!!!
I can tell you that at our house,
I personally feel the most pressure in the mornings
while we're all scurrying around trying to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!
Someone always forgets something,
didn't finish something,
or just plain old can't stand something....
and once that negative ball starts rolling...........
it just seems to roll and roll and roll
straight DOWN the HILL toward
an AWEFUL, TERRIBLE very BAD DAY!
So... is there anything that can be done about that.
The first step is being aware of those NEGATIVE feelings
that are roaming around in your house unchecked.
You know the kind.... the ones that linger for days,
the silent treatment, or the door slamming, or just plain ole' yelling.
Take a DEEP breath, count to 5 and
STOP them before they move in.
Watch this video for a few tricks we use at our house
to bring GRATITUDE back
in those moments of FRUSTRATION!
START today building NEW HABITS
for dealing with the BACK to School Business
by building the practice GRATITUDE into your daily lives.
Children are the most susceptible to changing their BEHAVIOR
when they see it modeled for them.
BE the person that someone else wants to be
rather than trying to FORCE someone to change.
We ALL know that doesn't work and it NEVER lasts.
In fact, statistics on the overall success rates for rehabilitation centers
averages between 2-20%.
PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO BE CHANGED,
but they CAN CHANGE
if what you have looks like something they would like to be.
Behaviors are contagious,
and we don't realize in every moment
we are teaching others how we react to frustration....
and if those (others) are our children,
chances are that's exactly how they will grow up and treat theirs.
START right now
and catch yourself the next time you are feeling frustrated
and remember how you would feel if those kids you're so mad at
were no longer in your home.
I personally use this little trick every time I get angry.
After my brother died, it put "the little things" back into perspective.
We teach without realizing we're teaching!
Let's all teach GRATITUDE!
If I told you it was possible to
change your life,
change your body,
and change your health
in 10 MINUTES a day....
you probably wouldn't believe me,
BUT, it's true!
According to a special publication by TIME magazine
entitled The Science of Emotions,
Exercise is one of the BEST and QUICKEST mood changers there is.
AND... the best part about that is
it doesn't have to be a LONG, ORGANIZED workout
with special training or equipment to be
BENEFICIAL for your BRAIN!
In fact, many studies go so far as to say
that exercise is the closest thing to
A UNIVERSAL MOOD CURE there is.
Exercise has shown in clinical studies
to combat depression, relieve stress,
change emotional states, and even fight cognitive decline.
The problem is, when we HEAR the word exercise,
most of our BRAINS instantly THINK of a sweaty gym,
training for a 5K,
or someone who can bend themselves in half
wearing perfectly matching leggings and a crop top holding a flowered Yoga mat,
THIS IS NOT WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!
Instead, I am saying that just
10 minutes a day
is enough to
change your MOOD,
change your DAY,
and change your LIFE.
And.... Let's be honest
We've ALL got 10 minutes!
New Research from Princeton University
showed that participants in a 6 week exercise study
had a LARGE INCREASE
in New Neurons in the Hippocampus of the brain.
This is an area of the brain closely associated
with memory and regulation of anxiety.
Neuroscientist Elizabeth Gould went on to say,
"Exercise modifies the HUMAN BRAIN."
Walk to the Mailbox, Walk the dog,
Walk around your kitchen table....
or get a HULA HOOP and
set your timer for 10 MINUTES
and CHANGE your LIFE!
When I first began my dream of spreading
the Neuroscience of GRATITUDE to the world,
I wondered if anyone would care, or if anyone would even listen.
I remember vividly telling my professor
that I wanted to do my FINAL
Graduate Research Study on Gratitude
and putting a picture of MYSELF
(sitting behind a microphone)
on my Vision Board
and believing in faith
to BE on an iTunes Podcast
explaining how GRATITUDE
can change lives.
Well... 2 years later...
I can tell you this VISION
is now a reality.
This country girl,
Science of GRATITUDE. to iTunes.
Join us in a little
and help spread some happiness to the world!
Click Link to Watch Podcast
I have worked with lots of people in my 52 years of life,
but I can say that Gladney Center for Adoption
is right up there at the top!
From the moment I walked through their doors
I truly felt the kind spirit of ALL that Gladney is,
and ALL that Gladney does to help create
loving FAMILIES around the world.
My deepest thanks for allowing me to share in your Journey!
or connect on iTunes @
Staci is a one-of-a-kind mix of JOY and Neuroscience who is teaching people all over the world to BUILD a BETTER BRAIN by using Gratitude to create a BRIGHTER future. She has a Master's Degree in Educational NEUROSCIENCE and 25 years of teaching experience where she developed a reputation for being able to uncover potential in others like no one else could. Let her teach you how to live a HAPPIER Life by using the neuroscience of GRATITUDE to rewire your brain and build a better future!