What the Research Shows
Research over the past decade has established the incredible benefits of being grateful in the moment. You already know of the positive effects on your physical, emotional and mental well-being. But did you know that you cannot experience overwhelming stress, frustration or resentment while focusing on being grateful? Your brain chemistry just won’t allow it. Here’s how it works.
Regardless of your current state of being, when you pause and express gratefulness, you flood your brain with dopamine, serotonin and other endorphins that override and release you from the stronghold of the chemicals produced by stress. You simply have to activate a state of gratitude in order to experience its benefits.
Not FOR, but IN
Notice the distinction between being grateful FOR this moment and grateful IN this moment. There are some moments that aren’t particularly good, so don’t kid yourself of something that’s not true. But you can be grateful IN this moment, regardless of what’s going on.
By doing so, it forces your awareness beyond the moment to include all that you have going for you. You are alive and healthy. You have good people surrounding you. You are engaged in work that is noble and worthy. You are making a better than good living. You are connected to family and friends who matter to you.
A State of Gratitude
Interestingly, your blessings were there yesterday and earlier today, so how did stress and frustration overwhelm you? Since you didn’t put yourself in a state of gratitude, you were left to be captive to whatever the moment dictates. That’s why consciously being grateful IN this moment is so critical.
Try it. After reading this, pause and give yourself a moment—a moment to be grateful. Simply say to yourself: “I am grateful.” Say it three times with a long breath in between. Say it throughout the day. Allow your brain to flood your body with the good stuff and enjoy the discipline of being grateful in the moment.
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