Love might NOT be the answer!

Love might NOT be the answer!


As a master executive mindset coach, I’ve seen firsthand the incredible impact that a shift in perspective can have on our lives. Today, I want to share a little secret with you: focusing mindfully on heartfelt gratitude is one of the most powerful ways of restoring your sense of balance, ease, and wellbeing. Not only will I share my own experiences, but I’ll also back it up with some pretty cool research.

The Science Behind Gratitude

Gratitude isn’t just a feel-good concept; it’s backed by science! Research has shown that cultivating gratitude can lead to a multitude of benefits, such as reduced stress, increased happiness, and improved mental health (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).

One study conducted by psychologists Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough found that those who kept a gratitude journal for 10 weeks experienced more positive emotions and were more optimistic about their lives compared to those who didn’t (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).

Reference: Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389.

Gratitude and the Brain

When we express gratitude, it actually rewires our brain! Research conducted by Dr. Glenn R. Fox at the University of Southern California found that the practice of gratitude can activate the medial prefrontal cortex, which is associated with learning, decision making, and perspective-taking (Fox et al., 2015).

Moreover, another study led by Dr. Alex Korb, a neuroscientist at UCLA, discovered that gratitude stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin, the “feel-good” neurotransmitters (Korb, 2011).

This means that the more we practice gratitude, the more our brains become wired to seek out and appreciate the positive things in our lives.

References: Fox, G. R., Kaplan, J., Damasio, H., & Damasio, A. (2015). Neural correlates of gratitude. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1491. Korb, A. (2011). The Grateful Brain: The Neuroscience of Giving Thanks. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prefrontal-nudity/201211/the-grateful-brain

Cultivating Heartfelt Gratitude

Now that we know how awesome gratitude is, let’s talk about how to make it a daily practice. Here are a few tips to help you cultivate heartfelt gratitude:

  • Keep a gratitude journal: Set aside a few minutes each day to jot down three to five things you’re grateful for. They can be as simple as a delicious meal or as profound as a supportive friend. The key is to genuinely feel thankful for these things.
  • Share your gratitude: Express your appreciation to the people who make a difference in your life. Let them know how much they mean to you and watch the ripple effect of positivity it creates.
  • Practice mindfulness: When you catch yourself getting caught up in negative thoughts or stress, take a deep breath, and bring your focus back to the present moment. Use this opportunity to remind yourself of something you’re grateful for.
  • Engage in acts of kindness: Giving to others not only makes them feel good but can also boost your own sense of gratitude and wellbeing.
  • Reflect on challenges: Embrace the learning opportunities and growth that come from overcoming difficult situations. Recognizing the lessons and strengths gained from these experiences can lead to a deeper sense of gratitude.
  • Surround yourself with gratitude reminders: Keep quotes, images, or objects that evoke a sense of thankfulness around you. These can serve as gentle reminders to maintain an attitude of gratitude throughout the day.
  • Visualize gratitude: Try a guided gratitude meditation or create your own visualization practice. Spend a few moments each day imagining yourself surrounded by the things and people you’re grateful for and let those feelings of appreciation fill your entire being.

The Impact of Heartfelt Gratitude

By incorporating gratitude into your daily life, you’ll likely notice an increased sense of balance, ease, and wellbeing. Gratitude can help you:

  • Improve your relationships: When you express gratitude, you foster positive connections with others and strengthen existing bonds (Algoe, 2012).
  • Boost your mental health: Gratitude has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, while increasing overall psychological wellbeing (Wood et al., 2010).
  • Enhance your resilience: Practicing gratitude can make you more resilient in the face of adversity, as it helps you to focus on the positive aspects of your life (Emmons & Stern, 2013).
  • Encourage self-growth: Gratitude encourages reflection on personal growth and self-improvement, leading to a greater sense of fulfillment and self-worth (Linley et al., 2007).

My Own Experience

My own experience has been that mindful heartfelt gratitude practised regularly certainly improves my sense of well-being, peace, inner strength and resilience, and so I make it a habit to do this every day.

I have also conducted research using biofeedback equipment and confirmed to myself that heartfelt gratitude is more powerful at promoting those types of emotions than feelings of love.

This is because, although love is an extremely powerful emotion, it can also be a bit complicated depending on one’s life experiences, in a way that gratitude does not.


So, remember that heartfelt gratitude isn’t just a nice idea; it’s a powerful tool for transforming your life. By taking the time to mindfully focus on the things you’re grateful for, you can restore balance, ease, and well-being to your world. Let the power of gratitude be your guide, and watch the magic unfold!

References: Algoe, S. B. (2012). Find, remind, and bind: The functions of gratitude in everyday relationships. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 6(6), 455-469.

Emmons, R. A., & Stern, R. (2013). Gratitude as a psychotherapeutic intervention. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(8), 846-855.

Linley, P. A., Joseph, S., Harrington, S., & Wood, A. M. (2007). Positive psychology: Past, present, and (possible) future. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2(1), 3-16.

Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J., & Geraghty, A. W. (2010). Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(7), 890-905.

#anxiety #stress #worry #overwhelm #fear #procrastination #selfesteem #selfconfidence #emptiness #loneliness #failure #sadness #guilt #selftalk #burnout


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