• psybms2018


Updated: Feb 17, 2020

I’m sure you have heard of the term “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” The idea comes from looking at your neighbor’s lawn and seeing it as better looking, healthier and overall greener than your own.  How we tend to look at other people’s lives and other things that we don’t have. We feel that whatever they have, it’s better. Please…..ridiculous. Sorry but this mind set comes with the complainers. The ones that always feel like they got the short end of the stick. They see the glass as half empty instead of half full. Shakespeare put it this way when he said, "there is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so."  Granted many people are struggling with relationship, money, career, and health issues. Maybe you are one of them, or you know someone that is having a tough time. But complaining and being a pessimist isn’t going to make the struggle go away. The fact is optimism and being grateful for what you “do” have creates opportunity. With Thanksgiving Day fast approaching I wanted to focus on the power to reshape your neural pathways. Giving Thanks also known as gratitude can keep you healthier, happier as well as many other benefits. A 2009 National Institutes of Health (NIH) study showed that our hypothalamus (the part of our brain that regulates a number of our bodily functions including our appetites, sleep, temperature, metabolism, and growth) is activated when we feel gratitude, or display acts of kindness.  When we are truly grateful for something or someone, we actually get a natural high because our brains are being flooded with a chemical called dopamine. Moreover, we liked the feeling so much we are motivated to give thanks again and again.  “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”.  ~Maya Angelo. Gratitude research has repeatedly shown that thankful people have higher energy levels, are more relaxed, are happier and are healthier.  Every study done on the subject of gratitude research has undisputable evidence that gratitude benefits our bodies, minds, and souls. (BMS…just saying) Ok, so you want to know how you can rewire your brain and boost your happiness? "Something as simple as writing down three things you're grateful for every day for 21 days in a row significantly increases your level of optimism, and it holds for the next six months. The research is amazing," Harvard researcher and author Shawn Achor.  That’s it….. write down three new things you are grateful for each day for 21 days. Or better yet, send an email first thing in the morning thanking them, send a letter of gratitude to a friend, family member, co-worker, your doctor, the landscaper…..be grateful for all the things you have in your life and enjoy the high. So, what should you do the next time you’re looking at that glass half empty, have gratitude for the half you just drank and know you can fill that glass up.

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Barbara Murphy-Shannon is a Mindset Business Coach for Women Entrepreneurs. She puts out a weekly blog, offers workshops and retreats. Barbara@barbaramurphyshannon.com