Studies by Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at Thomas Jefferson University, and Mark Robert Waldman, a communications expert, showed that using and focusing on positive words can dramatically improve the chemistry in your brain and propel you into great actions. Other studies have shown that a key element to happiness is how much gratitude we express. Indeed, the experiment in the video below, shows how expressing gratitude can increase your happiness level and therefore allow you to see the good in your life and in the people around you.
As I sat this morning on my sticky mat, encouraged by my yoga teacher to focus on the goods in my life and what I was grateful for, I thought I am grateful:
To be alive and healthy,
For the mother who loves me unconditionally,
For the father who raised me to believe I could reach the stars and beyond,
For all the cheerleaders in my life who believe in me, often even more than I believe in myself,
To have the opportunity to express myself and to allow me to just be…
This is barely even scratching the surface of all the things I am grateful for. As I started this thoughts process, I felt my heart lifting and tears of joy rushing to my eyes. Too often, we get carried away by small things, let anger take over and everything else goes south. We create our own suffering by drowning in negative thoughts, probably because it is easier. We take things personally and let others demons contaminate us.
Life is so much bigger than that and we have the choice and the freedom to pick love and positivity. We have the choice to make a conscious decision to put our ego aside and to focus on the good, to let go, of assumptions, of fear, of anger, of jealousy and envy.
So take some time everyday, try to quiet your mind and focus on something positive in your life, think about what you are grateful for and notice the transformation happen.