Gratitude is a Practice
Serotonin is a vital chemical in our brains that helps maintain our mood. It regulates our emotions and is an important stabilizer. Winnie the Pooh is a perfect example of a person (or bear) with just the right amount of Serotonin floating around in his furry body. He’s never too down and never too high. We do many things to regulate our mood throughout the day - talk to our friends, practice self care, exercise. One method is counting our blessings and being grateful. Recording what we are thankful for regularly releases some additional serotonin into our systems.
Here’s a Tip from the Trail:
Keep a journal and pen at your bedside. Before you jump to your to-do list, take a few minutes and write down three things for which you are grateful.
“I'm thankful for another day! I’m alive!”
“I'm thankful for my family.”
“I'm thankful for a good night’s sleep.”
I like to use a dry erase marker and write my three grateful thoughts on my bathroom mirror. So you can practice the same thing during your nighttime routine, if you'd rather reflect on the day. There are numerous publications that elaborate on the benefits of showing gratitude each day, and how expressing this praise may be the simplest way to feel better.
Keep writing your words of gratitude on the mirror (or journal or phone or anywhere else that makes sense to you) until you can no longer see your reflection. Take a photo, so you don’t forget. Erase and repeat every day. As you continue this practice, those words will increasingly represent your most important priorities and values.
“Let’s not forget we’re alive; it’s going to be a beautiful day.” -Joshua Radin