Our neural biology is hardwired to notice and dwell on the negative. It’s an evolutionary “scanning for threats and saber-tooth tigers” impulse that’s helped us persist as a species.
Now let that attitude loose on the “What kind of Fresh Hell is this?” events of 2020, and it’s particularly easy to focus on danger and bad news. But it’s also pretty exhausting.
So we have to fight back. Our weapon? A gratitude attitude.
Researchers have found that people with “grateful dispositions... sleep better, are less depressed, have less fatigue, have more self-confidence to take care of themselves and have less systemic inflammation.”(1)
Gratitude grows parts of our brain that include reward centers, moral cognition, fairness and justice, AKA pleasure and wisdom. It enhances relationships and social connections. It helps combat our natural negativity bias.
I mean, who doesn’t want a dose of all that?
When we make a choice to find something to be grateful for, we begin a process of paying attention on purpose. Gratitude is a gateway to mindfulness too.
So even if it feels corny or a little inauthentic at first, give it a whirl. One gratitude a day, one minute a day, to cultivate a gratitude attitude. If you miss a day or two or five, it’s perfectly okay. Just start again.
Download our worksheet to guide some thoughts, or just do your own thing. You decide what’s meaningful for you.