2021 has certainly been a challenging year filled with all sorts of emotions. Paul Eckman, a University of California psychologist, identifies five basic emotions and how they appear in our lives: “We are hard wired for five emotions: fear, anger, sadness, disgust, and joy. If left to our own, we will default to our natural hard-wiring of fear, anger, disgust and sadness. The deck is stacked against us and for good reason. The negative emotions keep us safe.”
Jacqueline E. Purcell explains that we have to unlearn what we have been programmed to believe since birth. During the last two years, many of us are carrying around the anxiety of the average psychiatric patient of the 1950’s. We are more isolated, disconnected, and segmented than ever. “That software,” says Purcell, “no longer serves you if you want to live in a world where all things are possible.”
It seems that we would all benefit from a buffer against the headwinds of today.
Our health, brain wiring, and energy are all directly linked to our thought life and can be directly impacted by what we think about. When our amygdala senses threat, fear releases adrenaline causing our heart rate and blood pressure to skyrocket allowing us to fight or flight.
However, we have the power of choice and can determine what we let into our minds and hearts. We need to intentionally direct our 86 billion nerve cells towards more moments of joy.
We can so by intentionally choosing to practice the buffer of gratitude. We literally change the electrical and chemical energy in our brains when we fire off a grateful thought. Gratitude calms our amygdala causing dopamine to rise and serotonin to kick in. These are neurotransmitters we LOVE to connect to – they relax the body and make life extraordinary!
- Gratitude strengthens social ties and self-worth.
- Gratitude blocks toxic emotions: envy, resentment, regret, depression.
We are only 10 minutes away from experiencing life with more joy even in the midst of very difficult circumstances. Take a few of those minutes to:
- Reflect on that for which you are grateful.
- Send a text, email or message to someone for whom you are grateful.
From our Top 20 team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, and Tom Cody…grateful for opportunities to partner with you and bring a bit more…
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