I love to read and to expand my knowledge about the brain so I was naturally attracted to the headline above. It led me to an article that you can read in full, here.
It is about a new book: ‘The Power of Bad: How the Negatively Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It’, co-authored by social psychologist Roy Baumeister and New York Times writer John Tierney. The book not only covers the fascinating science behind this bias we have as humans to focus on the negative and disregard the positive, but also gives readers practical tips to work around it.
Say the authors: “We want people to recognize that things are almost never as bad as they’re thinking and hearing and fearing. We want people to understand that the mind naturally leans toward noticing and attending to and processing the negative stuff, but that will be an overreaction. So, it’s important to take some time and balance it out and recognize the immense amount of good that is all around us.”
Most of the research shows that bad things have about two, three, or four times as much impact as good things. If you want to have a good relationship, go for at least a five-to-one ratio of good things to bad things. One of the most powerful tools they suggest using to do this is via a Daily Gratitude Journal.
In my book ‘Reset! A Blueprint for A Better Life’ I advocate the same. I’m sharing a short excerpt from the book for you below.
Exclusive book excerpt:
It was after studying mindfulness several years ago that I discovered Gratitude Journals. Through the expression of gratitude, we are able to not only be present in the moment but by finding the good in even the smallest of things, get flooded with an appreciation that cannot fail to change our mood and outlook for the better. We are always focused on what problems to solve, to the extent that we overwhelm ourselves and put ourselves in a stressed state of constant alert. Think about the word ‘overwhelmed’. Then its opposite ‘underwhelmed’. We get overwhelmed by the challenges and difficulties of life. We get underwhelmed by ourselves, our responses to life, our visions of the future. Now is the time to change that.
Every day there will be something to be grateful for. Even if it was the nice chap on the underground who offered you his seat as he saw how weary you were. A smile from your grandchild. A moment spent watching a bird feed from a tree. Notice and rejoice. By noticing the positive, you start to rewire your brain’s neural pathways to think positively on a regular basis. This leads to happiness and happy people release more endorphins, so they are healthier and less stressed. Those who are happy with themselves make better partners in both business and personal lives. They don’t need to belittle or control others in order to feel good about themselves. They are able to be at one with themselves and then let others in, and love and support them too.
There are beautiful, soft, leather-bound Gratitude Journals that you can buy, keep by your bed, and work through the exercises they contain every evening and morning. Failing that, you can grab a piece of paper and a pen or use the ‘notes’ on your computer or phone. Start now. Take a moment and think about, then note down, four things that you are grateful for regarding:
· your life
· your home
· your friends/family
Don’t be churlish here. You can always find four. Even if you are estranged from your family, perhaps one of the things is that you like the distance! Better still, just be kind and find something, some little nugget of praise or respect that you can offer. If you are not used to using this muscle – the grateful or kind muscle – then think of this as starting with those little weights at the gym. You can work up to the heavy and impressive-looking ones later.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.”
Excerpt from: ‘Reset! A Blueprint For A Better Life’ by Rosalyn Palmer.
Click here to purchase a copy on Amazon.
I am presently in talks with an illustrator to produce my own really beautiful and inspiring Gratitude Journal that will be available later in 2020.
For now my gift to you, in gratitude for your continued support, is attached. It is a printable two-sided Gratitude Sheet entitled: Today I Am Grateful For. You can print it out and fill in on a daily basis.
Another lovely action, especially if you have children, is to create a Gratitude Jar. Get as big an empty jar as you can and create your own label. Each time you, your chidren, your family or those you live with, find a moment of joy and gratitude, scribble it down on a post it note or scrap of paper and drop it in the jar. On gloomy days or every so often just open it and read the notes. Instant uplifting self-therapy.
Should you want to reach out for my therapeutic and coaching help I would love to help you. Please send your enquiry via the link below. I am overhauling my offering and packages for March to coincide with a whole new website so investment prices are held until the end of February at this time.
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