Happy Thankful Thursdays dreamers!
This week I have been thinking a great deal about how much gratitude impacts my emotions. I’ve been feeling particularly grateful for my husband and daughter and that has translated to me feeling happier and content with my life.
Now granted, I did give up a 6 hour commute which has given me more time to blog, spend time with my delicious daughter and enjoy my time at home. All things that make me a happier mom and wife.
But I do believe that practicing gratitude translates into feeling happier in general.
Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. has been investigating the value of positive emotions for the past few years. In controlled laboratory experiments, Fredrickson has measured the effects of positive states on people’s thinking styles. In field studies, she has cataloged the effects of thinking more positively on people’s skills, traits, and well-being. What she has learned is that positive emotions carry far more benefits than most professionals have suspected and practicing gratitude makes you feel more of these positive emotions. (Source: Psychology Today)
Dr. Fredrickson says:
When we experience a positive emotion, our vision literally expands, allowing us to make creative connections, see our oneness with others, and face our problems with clear eyes (a.k.a. the broaden effect). As we make a habit of seeking out these pleasing states, (like practicing gratitude) we change and grow, becoming better versions of ourselves, developing the tools we need to make the most out of life (the build effect). And strikingly, these twin benefits of positive emotions obey a tipping point: When positive emotions outnumber negative emotions by at least 3 to 1, these benefits accrue, yet when they fall below this same ratio, they don’t.
In other words, the more grateful I am throughout the day creates more positive feelings, which will lead to me cultivating a greater ability to face life’s problems and more likely to develop tools necessary to make my dreams a reality. And the opposite is also true.
The less grateful I am throughout the day, the less positive feelings I’ll accrue, thus my feelings will more than likely be negative, which in turn impedes my ability to over come obstacles throughout the day or learn new skills that will help make my dreams a reality.
Gratitude can make all the difference in successful dream achievement.
Doesn’t it seem crazy to you that such a simple practice of being grateful can change everything about your life and create mental states that will propel you to achieve more?
It would seem that gratitude is a very powerful emotion.
If you are struggling with your emotions on a daily basis and find the idea of practicing gratitude a bit overwhelming at this time, there is this great site called HelpGuide.org where you can access their Emotional Intelligence Toolkit- A 5-Step Program for Taming Overpowering Stress and Emotions.
Their FREE program includes articles, videos, and audio meditations. You’ll learn why dealing with your emotions the right way is so important to your emotional and physical health along with the two core skills for reducing overwhelming stress. Each step builds on the skills you’ve just learned to help you explore your moods, manage stress, and take control of your emotional health.
I recommend that you check it out by clicking here.
The one fact that all of the dreamers on 8 Women Dream have come to realize is that dream achievement is a marathon sport. You have to be in it for the long haul–I am talking years here–in order to be successful at creating the life that will support your big dream.
Successfully managing your emotions gives you the solid foundation to stay with your dream even when it seems like the whole world is fighting against what you are trying to do. Too many dreamers give up when the going gets rough because they think the obstacles are some sort of “sign” that they aren’t supposed to continue with their dream.
Obstacles are a big part of your dream journey.
Like strength training works your muscles to make them stronger, obstacles work your emotional muscle to make you stronger emotionally and more capable of expanding your life. You have to grow into the dream that you want and obstacles are what toughen your resolve and strengthen your spirit so that expansion is possible.
Gratitude helps you survive the obstacles that will show up and places a positive spin on what has occurred. If you have lived long enough to go through some major rough patches then you get that what you once perceived as a negative experience might be the one thing that catapulted you into changing your life for the better.
Be grateful for the good, the bad and the ugly. Use gratitude to help you become strong.
Because gratitude creates happiness and happiness is the positive emotion that will make your dreams come true!
So you can … Just pursue it!
Barbara Fredrickson, PhD: Positive Emotions Transform Us–
Sue Levy is the founder of the South African Just Pursue It Blog and Inspirational Women Initiative. She’s a motivational writer and media designer, who is obsessed with everything inspirational with a hint of geek. She thrives on teaching women how to be brave and take big chances on themselves. You can find Sue on her Twitter page @Sue_Levy.
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