THE POWER OF GRATITUDE
Using perception to harvest your good.
IN THE PRESENCE OF GRATITUDE WORRY, FEAR AND STRESS CAN NOT EXIST
Our human emotions are one of the most powerful attributes we have when it comes to our daily life experiences. We can use our emotions to help overcome obstacles, express creativity and generate mental and physical well-being. With over 27 varied emotions, they can each look and feel different for each person.
This month, we'll learn to use positive emotions during challenging times. We will look for the good in others and change our perspective when faced with difficult circumstances. Doing this will ensure that worry, stress and fear no longer get in the way of our happiness.
Gratitude is a feeling and function of the brain that needs to be exercised just like your other muscles. Explore some of the higher levels of gratitude that are harder to harvest, but can shape our relationships, determine our level of success and keep us in good health.
"Living in gratitude starts with one decision to look for good, and relies on hundreds of micro decisions throughout your day"
High School Student
USE THE TIME YOU WOULD SPEND WORRYING TO HARVEST EMOTIONS THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO DO SOMETHING
ABOUT WHAT WORRIES YOU
the only way to teach children to have gratitude is for them to actively engage in changing their perception
YOUR LESSONS ON EMOTION START HERE
The "Emotion" lessons include four PDF downloads this month:
Downloads Expire December 15th
Create a dialogue that will transform even the most challenging relationships. Take a good look at what is separating you from what you want most from your students, children, friends and family. Shift the disconnectedness with a conversation that sticks.
Use this resource to see what shape your gratitude muscles are in and optimize your appreciation in the four major areas of life.
Lean into a feeling of gratitude in the midst of discomfort. This tool is much more than listing what you’re thankful for, but more of an active way to increase a mental awareness of appreciation.
2. THE TREE OF CHANGE
In a world that seems to focus on the negative, sometimes it's easy to lose sight of the countless things that make each living moment miraculous. When life is coming at you like a freight train, instead of a head on collision with your emotions, use this scale to reach for a better feeling. Upward momentum of.. can stop a downward spiral of negative emotion
Not in the mood for gratitude? It's not your fault!
Studies show that gratitude is one of the only emotional states that generate a higher level of consciousness and chemical change in your brain. It is responsible for treating a wide range of illnesses from Parkinson’s disease to depression.
If we like the good feelings of love, hope and gratitude, why do we tend to fear, complain and worry more often? Negativity Bias is the tendency to give more weight to negative experiences over neutral or positive experiences. It is so automatic that it can be detected at the earliest stage of the brain's information processing.
Our ancestors made habits of overestimating threats and underestimating positive opportunity as a means for survival. If they heard a strange noise, they instantly shifted to a fight or flight response- hiding or protecting themselves to survive versus feeling a sense of joy and eagerness. Our brains are biologically hard wired to focus on the negative aspects about our lives. Negative thoughts move more quickly into our long-term memory. The good news is that gratitude can change this process!
Gratitude is a feeling and function of the brain. Your brain is in a constant state of reproducing the chemicals that it is use to. If the receptors in your brain are used to complaint and feeling stuck, it continuously produces cortisol (the "stress hormone"). It will CRAVE cortisol and the bad feeling of lack and limitation that comes with it, if that is what it is used to. This is why depression, anxiety and stress are difficult cycles to break.
Gratitude floods the brain with oxytocin (the "tranquil, love hormone"). If you stick with gratitude, especially at the seemingly worst times, you will retrain your brain. Gratitude also produces endorphins. Once your brain is used to a steady stream of gratitude, it will start CRAVE the good feeling more and more. Before you know it, you have retrained your brain and your body will respond with better physical and emotional health.
As teachers and parents, we have to be more conscious of the fact that the children in our lives are also educating us. Even the most challenging ones mirror the personal aspects about ourselves that need the most change and healing. Real growth doesn't happen when you defend your actions, but rather at the point in which you move past the discomfort and into the truth. Complaint cripples gratitude, and as a recovering chronic complainer, I have used gratitude form deeper connections with others. It has allowed me to appreciate the key role each emotion, obstacle and person has in it. Gratitude has became one of the most powerful choices I make during the day to be more patient, present, compassionate and more thirsty for new life experiences.
This too, is my wish for you!
Educator | Founder
gratitude comes in more variety than your thanksgiving meal
MORE RESOURCES FOR YOU
Here are a couple of book recommendations that teach resilience, growth mindset, problem solving and letting go to make room for positive change.
For our Kids:
Even Superheros Have Bad Days - by Shelly Becker
I Had A Favorite Dress - by Boni Ashburn
The Dot - by Peter Reynolds
Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs- Emotional Freedom Technique The Tapping Solution
For Teens and Adults:
"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teen"s - Richard Carlson
Let Your Fears Make You Fierce - by Koya Webb
Todd Herman - "Biology of Change"
Harvel Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt -"Getting the Love You Want" and "Safe Conversation 360"
Maria Forleo - "Maria TV Podcast"
Jessica Ortner - "The Tapping Solution to Create Lasting Change: A Guide to Get Unstuck and Find Your Flow"
extra credit community
Hi there gang!
Be thankful for all things big and small.
Which Gratitude Lesson was most helpful for you or your young learners.