Updated: Apr 23, 2021
Finding the “Thankful” in Thanksgiving Finding gratitude in a year filled with loss, grief, and fear is not an easy feat, but research shows that gratefulness effectively reduces stress hormones and increases positive emotions. Thanksgiving will be diametrically different for most persons this year, so we must make the conscious decision to be thankful. I am currently in the final weeks of a Positive Neuroplasticity Professional Course and have learned that the conscientious practice of gratitude and decisively choosing to see “the good” scientifically changes the neurons of your brain waves and helps alleviate sadness and depression. Basically, neurons that fire together, wire together. The more you practice taking in the good, the more rewiring you are doing in the brain. This holiday week I challenge you to purposefully find something for which you are grateful and absorb and savor the joyful response it triggers in your brain and in your body. It can be a little thing, a squirrel balancing precariously on a tree limb, or a conscientious decision to be grateful for family, friends, and home. Fully absorb this moment of gratitude and perhaps even allow the thought you select to circle out in waves of additional happy thoughts. For example, I am grateful for my significant other, their family, our children. As you choose to find joy in those thoughts, new neurons fire in the brain for positivity. I have included an exercise below that is a useful tool for developing a practice in choosing gratitude. Journaling what you are grateful for is another fabulous way to consciously see positivity. I hope these methods can help you find joy throughout the holidays. As always I have my thirty-minute meditation sessions on Tuesdays at noon. Meditation is a wonderful way to calm the mind and release tension. No matter what your Thanksgiving looks like this year, remember to be thankful and keep in mind that I am thankful for you each and every day, especially those who receive and read these newsletters. With a grateful heart, Linette
Proactively Finding Joy * Find a comfortable position and close your eyes. * Think of something, someone, or a memory that make you happy. * Bring this thought to mind as if you are currently with the someone or something or experiencing that memory. * Notice what your heart feels like. Is there a softening? * Notice how you feel in your body. * Stay with this feeling, noticing all the sensations you might be feeling in your body. * Drop your shoulders. * Stay with this feeling for two minutes. * Smile.