Dr. Jenny Schaafsma, PhD
Spirit of Gratitude
We have a negativity bias, which means we focus far more on the negative and unpleasant experiences and emotions as opposed to the positive and pleasant ones.
This bias has an evolutionary purpose, such that it protected humans from danger to survive. However, as humans have evolved this evolutionary response doesn’t quiet serve us like it did our ancestors. The bad things/threats that happen are not an animal trying to eat us, but rather failing a test, forgetting something, upsetting someone, etc.
Ever have it where so many things are going well and then one unpleasant thing happens and it ruins your entire day and preoccupies your mind!? Happens to us all, you are not alone!
Given that the negative has greater weight, it’s helpful to intentionally focus on and remind yourself of positive/pleasant things in your life. Counteract the negative! One way of doing that is a gratitude practice.
A gratitude practice can take different forms (e.g., gratitude list, gratitude box/jar, gratitude walk, gratitude meditation, etc.). My favorite (because I find it’s the easiest for me and I like lists) is to write down 1-3 things I’m grateful for.
And, gratitude practices can change the molecular structure of your brain! This is a workout for your mind.
Today I’m grateful for sleeping in, my workout, and my husband. What are you grateful for?!
Share with anyone who needs an extra gratitude reminder today!