Being an Attitude of Gratitude can Hardwire Your Brain For Success
Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT
Being an attitude of gratitude by recognizing all for which I am grateful in the moment has been my practice for the past 22 years. I found my way here during a hard time in my life when I first became a single mother with two pre-school children to raise solo. I knew then it was the key to my sanity and my salvation. It became my main go to whenever I would find myself going down a poor me rat hole. It is now just how I move through life and live in an “it’s a wonderful day wherever I am” existence.
While Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on that for which we are thankful, living a more gratitude filled existence is just a thought away at any time. It helps rewire your brain in some very helpful ways to pivot to gratitude whenever there is a complaint. When you can stop reacting to what triggers your anger, sadness, regret, guilt or fear responses and replace it with curiosity about how you can be more gracious, your pre-frontal cortex rather than your fight or flight limbic system becomes engaged and you improve the executive functioning part of your brain. The parts of your brain you routinely engage become who you are. By having a more engaged and expanded pre-frontal cortex, you can weather anything life throws you with more grace and ease. You can, in essence, feel more successful. This feeling over time becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Developing and maintaining a consistent state of gratitude also helps you create better relationships. Having healthy positive relationships is crucial to lifelong happiness. Generating “success” is rather meaningless without cultivating some fantastic relationships along the way. Considering that loneliness is now the number one complaint amongst both young and old, developing an attitude of gratitude can build on your important relationships and make them even stronger. Next time you find yourself going down your own “rat hole” – whatever are your very well justified reasons, stop yourself. Pivot over to what about the situation or the other person you appreciate, their strengths, the goodness of the whole situation. Watch how your life can change from this moment forward.