The holidays seem to be the designated time of year when we focus on gratitude. It makes sense since the holidays are a time of celebration and union with our families and friends. Gratitude is interesting in that you can truly feel it in your body, especially your heart and it can immediately make your mood better. These physical and mental changes can happen any time you decide to focus on gratitude.
Gratitude is the antidote to the two emotions that wreak havoc on our lives: anger and fear.
You cannot simultaneously be grateful and angry. Try it! You can’t feel afraid or angry when you are truly feeling grateful. The more you cultivate gratitude in your mindset, the more you can push anger and fear out of your mind and body. This doesn’t mean you’ll never feel angry again, it just means that gratitude is a tool to keep those emotions short-lived and out of your mind and body for longer periods of time. Even better, all of this, including the negative effects of anger and fear, as well as the healing effects of gratitude, is actually scientifically measurable in our heart rhythms, magnetic energy, and our brain waves!
And to be clear, I’m not talking about “positive thinking” silliness, I’m talking, practicing gratitude. The act of sharing and feeling gratitude actually changes your biochemistry. When you practice gratitude daily, you can rewire your neuropathways (your brain) and fire a whole new set of thinking patterns that are more elegant, rewarding and impactful than the ones that society will condition you to do, if you let it. For example, news and reality TV shows…need I say more?
We tend to focus on things, people and events we are grateful for on the outside of ourselves. I often share how grateful I am for Mr. Mittleman, who I love with all of my heart and soul and who puts up with me on a daily basis. If you’ve spent any time at Mo-Mentum, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I hope you also know how incredibly grateful I am for all of you, not only for being my friends but for making Mo-Tribe possible, without you, Mo-Mentum would not exist.
In December, we’d like to add a twist to our focus on gratitude. In addition to feeling gratitude for the people, things, and events in our lives, we’d like to turn that gratitude inward for ourselves as well. Think about it, every night you alone put your head on your pillow and fall to sleep into your own dreams. We are 100% responsible for the successes, failures, and happiness we experience in our own lives. Taking time to feel and acknowledge how grateful we are for our lives and who we are is essential for our continued happiness and success. Why would you work so hard to create an extraordinary life for someone you don’t respect?
The Science Behind Head Trash
As humans, we are blessed with a brain that has developed over thousands of years to protect us from most of the dangers in our environment. This means that we focus on perceptions and events that create emotions like fear and anger. Unfortunately, in our world today, those emotions are not created by lions who want to eat us, but instead by ongoing life matters and relationships like in-laws, bosses, fellow employees and neighbors who don’t see eye to eye.
We also compare our insides to others’ outside appearances. We ALL have the propensity to do this because again, this is how our brains are designed. We are always looking to develop the strongest survival skills. Today, however, an awesome Facebook or Instagram feed and following does NOT actually mean someone else has superior survival skills. We all know this. The tricky part is that we are drawn to compare ourselves and if we don’t take the time to reprogram our brains, we will continue to waste time and happiness comparing!
Here’s the best part, our human brain is designed to override poor and outdated programming! So in December, let’s start reprograming. We tend to put our own self-care off because we know it’s important to be “selfless,” to please others, to fit in, and to keep moving so we feel like we are doing something important and so on. However, selflessness does not mean self-neglect. In fact, in order to care for others, we must first take care of our own body, mind, and spirit. Think about it like this, when you are exhausted you have less patience, less energy, less creativity and less openness to the world and honestly who wants to hang out with an exhausted, moody person? Not me!
This month Team Mo and I are challenging you to think differently and in addition to sharing your gratitude for the people and other gifts in your life, turn that gratitude inward as well.
Be grateful and feel your gratitude for all you have done to create your life today. Show yourself gratitude by truly looking at the excuses (sometimes you fight to call them “reasons”) that are keeping you from your most EXTRAORDINARY LIFE. Often times, creating an extraordinary life can feel “dreamy” and not necessarily make sense from the position you are in today, while excuses can make all of the sense in the world. But in the end, making sense doesn’t make you happy, feeling good about who you make you happy. Progress in life makes you happy. Having the energy and strength to live your life all out makes you happy. Excuses hold you back, EVEN when they make sense.
What excuses do you need to let go of? We can help you with this! Once you decide it’s time to let go of your excuses, fill out one or two or four, “My #1 Excuse” cards and reword your excuses into achievable goals and expectations. You are worth it and if you don’t quite by into this statement, this month practice thinking differently and see what happens in your life!
-Amanda Mittleman, CEO