I was struck with a HUGE revelation yesterday as I signed up to attend a new Yoga studio, and talked with a personal trainer about my muscle loss..... building your GRATITUDE muscle.....
is exactly like building your physical muscle.
If you don't USE it, you LOSE it !!!!
I have always been a fairly fit person, and can say that I have worked out in some consistent fashion for most of my adult life. AND... if I am being honest,
in my 20's and 30's it was mostly about trying to look good. BUT... in my 40's and now in my 50's it has been about FEELing good!
These last 2 years however, I have completely fallen off the WAGON.... and I've known it was happening. Starting Grad School, starting OVER, moving to a new house and in a new town have consumed my time....... BUT......... (gut check truthful here)
I still have the same 24 hours I've always had, and I know FOR SURE,
when something is a priority- YOU MAKE TIME FOR IT!
LIVING a GRATEFUL life works exactly the same way!
When something genuinely becomes a priority.... You always make time for it!
So.... if you are serious about wanting to live a more happy and grateful life......
You HAVE TO MAKE SOME TIME FOR IT!
According to Harvard graduate, and past President of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society, Dr. Marc Schwartz.... "We underestimate how much practice something takes." AND... I can tell you from 1st hand experience.... IT'S TRUE!
To be good at anything..... GRATITUDE included,
you have to be willing to fall off and Get Back Up Again
you have to be willing to fail miserably some days, yet start over tomorrow
you have to be willing to let go of some things & people who do not serve you well
you have to be willing to try your hardest, even when you don't want to
AND MOST OF ALL.....
you have to be willing to forgive yourself as well as those who have hurt you
Learn to- look at the negative situations in your life as OPPORTUNITIES
to relearn, reevaluate, and remake who you are. Look at the faces of your children and see that it is a paradox harmful to your mind....
to HATE the giver, but LOVE the gift.
Let GO..... see life as an opportunity to be grateful for what you have been given rather than angry and resentful for what was taken. Look at your life as a series of seasons... and for everything there is a SEASON.
So..... start TODAY... start working out your GRATITUDE MUSCLE.
Here's your GRATITUDE Workout Plan:
1. START your day with GRATITUDE- before your feet hit the floor in the morning, STOP and say "thank you" for 3 things ( ex. your eyes that see, your ears that hear, and your legs that stand up on their own, your children in the other room, your dog that is happy to see you, the bed you had the privilege to sleep in, the hot water in your shower, the coffee you smell in the kitchen)
2. WATCH YOUR MOUTH-and I'm not talking about cursing.... I'm talking about the negativity that comes out of your mouth. Some of the most powerful connections our Brains make are the ones coming from our MOUTHS... for example (you're gonna be the death of me, I'm so far behind at work I'm gonna die, I hate this messy house, my boss is from hell, etc.) instead,
begin with BABY STEPS....
1st learn not to say those things, just stay silent
2nd learn to see them as opportunities to "reframe" them with gratitude (for the money you earn at the job you are not enjoying today, and the roof over your head... though it's messy) and 3rd to bless the things that upset you the most... Not that you continue to allow anything violent or hurtful to remain in your life, but remember- hurting people, HURT PEOPLE... (When people hurt my feelings.... and they still do... I HOLD MY TONGUE TIGHT, I walk away with a sincere blessing for them and a hope that they will understand the pain they have caused.... AND SAY SOMETHING grateful to myself.....like "girl, your hair is looking good today, or man-oh-man these shoes are killin it!) Love on yourself as fast as possible to change the loop of connections in your BRAIN. IT's hard, but with practice you can stop others from STEALING your happy!!!
3. Change your DIET- You canNOT be happy when you are continually putting negative in (anymore than you can get lean and fit while putting junk food in) .... You are responsible for the things you allow into your BRAIN's thoughts. Watch out for what you listen to on the radio, negative complaining and gripping about the world is continually creating connections in your Brain and developing patterns whether you know it or not. Be aware of what you watch on television. 24hours of negative news only puts 24hours of negative loops in your mind, raises your blood pressure and causes irritability . Find something uplifting to watch, listen to and speak about...
So... START today... Build your GRATITUDE muscle and Build a better life!
May you learn to forgive yourself, forgive others, and look in the mirror (flaws and all) and see your life through the eyes of gratitude!
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!