Although seemingly impossible to do at the time, reminding yourself to be grateful when feeling distressed about something is one of the most beneficial shifts you can make. How do I know this? Well aside from personal observation, research supports that feelings and acts of gratitude shift the hormones and neurotransmitters in your brain and you begin to feel the effects of decreased cortisol and increased serotonin and dopamine like feeling less stressed, sleeping better, and being happy. So instead of feeling paralyzed from feelings of despair when I could not find my engagement ring after 2 days of searching, for example, I concentrated on how grateful I was to have such a loving and understanding fiancé. Once my cortisol levels decreased enough for me to think more clearly, I was able to use deductive reasoning and decided to look through the kitchen garbage one more time. And lucky me, in the very bottom corner of the trash bag filled with coffee grounds, egg shells, potato skin peelings, and wet paper-towels, I found my beautiful ring. Lucky for all of us, Thanksgiving can represent a day that provides us motivation to mindfully have gratitude for who and what matters most to us; hopefully without needing to sort through the kitchen garbage. (Lol)
Emmons, R., et al. “Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life.” American Psychological Association – Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84, no 2 (2003): 377-389.
Kini, P., et al. “The effects of gratitude expression on neural activity.” NeuroImage 128 (2015): 1-10.