Whether you live in my neck of the woods, Wisconsin or some other state, most of us have experienced very cold weather and early snow this November. I have noticed a sense of a GRRRR-attitude or grumbling about the cold, dark, dreary days among myself and my clients. Has the early cold and gray affected your attitude? Do you find comfort in finding another person to grumble with about the weather, your job, partner, or health? What is the old saying, “Misery loves company”. That may be true; however, I invite you to check in with how you feel after hanging out with people who are complaining, groaning, and grumbling. This GRRRR-attitude can be as contagious as a cold/flu virus.
We have tools to protect our immune system from colds: echinacea, vitamin C, eating a healthy diet, washing our hands frequently. I bet you have done some of these things to protect yourself from getting physically sick.
I want to offer you some tips and tools for boosting your Emotional Immune System.
How do you shift your GRRRR-attitude…..
The answer is simple and powerful: Practice GRATITUDE
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful. Readiness to show appreciation.
According to UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, regularly expressing gratitude literally changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeping the gray matter functioning, and making us healthier and happier. In short, just like Prozac, gratitude can boost neurotransmitter serotonin and activate the brain stem to produce dopamine.
Science proves that gratitude can change your brain, make you happier, boost your immune system, improve your relationships, and make you more productive.
The more you do it the easier it gets:
The practice of gratitude increases your dopamine production which encourages your brain to seek out more of the same. It’s the brain saying, “Oh, do that again” which means the more you are grateful for, the more you will find to be grateful for. Some say “what you appreciate, appreciates.” On a scientific level, this is an example of Hebb’s Law, which states “neurons that fire together wire together.” Or as I have stated in previous blogs, “what you focus on expands.”
Basically, just thinking about how you can be grateful sparks brain activity critical to sleep, mood regulation and metabolism. Next time something bad happens and you can’t think of anything to be grateful for, just the act of searching for gratitude is beneficial.
I encourage you to boost your emotional immune system with a regular gratitude practice. Start priming the pump before the Thanksgiving holiday and don’t stop on black Friday. It’s simple, it doesn’t take any time or money, but it does take practice and awareness.
Some ways to practice gratitude:
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Tell a friend or family member something you appreciate about them.
- Look at yourself in the mirror and think of something you like about yourself.
- Sit in a quiet place and think about when something went well. How did that feel? Practice that feeling every day for a week.
- Next time something bad happens consider 5 good things that happened as a result of this event.
- Write someone a thank you note.
- Write it down, talk about it, think about it, re-live it, meditate.
Cultivate your attitude of gratitude and watch how you shift from grumpy to grateful.
Curious about hiring me as your Catalyst Life Coach? Schedule a free 30 minute Life Coaching session to learn more about the transformation that you can create with accountability and new tools.
In Gratitude, Susie Raymond
Emotional Empowerment Life Coach, Reiki Master/Teacher, Esthetician, Catalyst Clear Inner Focus Coach