How does practicing gratitude on a regular basis contribute to self-care? Our thoughts create neural pathways in the brain. The more we think them, the deeper the channels run. Think of driving your car through mud. It leaves tracks, right? If you drive the same way every day for years, those channels will get deeper and deeper.
Thus, if we think negative thoughts, we can literally find ourselves stuck in a rut, a rut that we unintentionally made by our own thinking. We don’t want or mean to do this, but it is our human nature. Human beings are hard wired to think negatively, probably an evolutionary mechanism to keep us alert to danger and therefore increase our chances of survival.
By consciously practicing positive thinking, we can move out of the old ruts by forging new, more helpful channels that can keep us in a happier place. It takes time and commitment but it can be done, and you can see results quite quickly.
What happens when you start to practice gratitude on a regular basis, every day, is that you begin to experience the feeling state of gratitude. This state of feeling warm, cared for, and filled with abundance literally changes the physiology of your internal landscape.
Therefore, by analogy, your inner landscape can change from a barren, arid, and fruitless wasteland into a lush, verdant, and rich paradise filled with diverse wildlife and medicinal plants.
The deeper you go in your practice of gratitude, the richer you will feel in your inner landscape. The more abundant you feel on the inside, the more this will be reflected on the outside. Gratitude experts say that the more you feel grateful, the more you make room for increased abundance to come in to your life.
Gratitude helps drive your emotional state upwards on the spiral to more and more positive states.
The more you can experience these happier states, the more chance you have of experiencing them again in the future. You build an ever-stronger basis for happiness and one of the ways to do this is through the practice of gratitude.
In PART 6… Why You Should Set Personal Boundaries