TBL December 2023 - 18

The Little Things Make
a Big Difference
By Amy Gallimore
It turns out the simple reminder " don't forget to say
thank you " is one of the keys to making us healthier. Happify.com
notes that those who regularly give gratitude have " more positive
emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion
and kindness, and have stronger immune systems. " Gratitude can
also calm down the nervous system, rewire your fight-or-flight
response system, and help you become more resilient.
Even writing a list of things that you are thankful for can
significantly increase your well-being, according to Robert
Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude
Can Make You Happier and a psychologist at the University of
California at Davis. It doesn't have to be much-the simple task of
taking a few moments to be thankful for the little things we often
take for granted-a cup of coffee or a nice text from a friend-can
provide benefits.
Emmons's study showed that people who consistently wrote
down things they were grateful for reported an increase in energy
and improvements in their physical health, including better
kidney function, lower blood pressure, and stronger hearts.
Experts believe this is because grateful people typically appreciate
their health more and take better care of themselves. The better
you feel, the more energy you have!
Acknowledging positive aspects in our day can habituate
looking for the good instead of focusing on the negative. Emmons
states that it makes us better at " bouncing back from loss and
trauma and being able to see the blessings and not the curses. "
Showing gratitude to our close friends and family can also
rewire our brains. With gratefulness being top-of-mind, our
nervous system is calm, and we resist the urge to argue or
immediately go negative. As one study participant stated, " you
can't be grateful and resentful at the same time. " Biologically,
your brain also releases dopamine, a " feel-good chemical, "
bringing feelings of happiness to you and the person to whom you
express gratitude.
Here are three things you can do now to begin expressing
Make It Yours!
Record the people, places, and things for which are you are
grateful each day. You can do this electronically, in a journal, on
sticky notes, or even with pictures or sketches. It doesn't have to
be perfect or neat, nor does it have to be a list or a fully developed
story. As long as you are reflective and grateful, make it whatever
you want it to be!
Go Deep!
Try not to simply make a generic list of things you liked that day.
Ask yourself: " What truly made today special and meaningful? " or
" What is one thing that you are truly grateful for TODAY? " Long
lists of nice thoughts that get repeated day after day tend to lose
their meaning. Look for what really matters THAT day.
Mix It Up!
Every once in a while, mix up your gratitude practice. Write a
thank-you note to someone who has impacted your life. Ask your
family members to share one thing they are grateful for during
dinner. Start a #grateful conversation on social media and ask
your followers what they are grateful for that day.
Take a few moments to stop and think about the things that
you are most grateful for right now.
Your body and mind will THANK YOU for it!
Amy Gallimore is the CEO and Creative Director of Four16
Training Solutions, a company that specializes in inspiring keynote
messages, interactive leadership workshops, and creative curriculum
to clients all over the United States. A proud Army wife who
resides in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Jay, she spends
her spare time volunteering with Army Readiness Programs,
amusing her husband with her bad puns, and trying to achieve
her lifelong goal of making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

TBL December 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of TBL December 2023

TBL December 2023 - 1
TBL December 2023 - 2
TBL December 2023 - 3
TBL December 2023 - 4
TBL December 2023 - 5
TBL December 2023 - 6
TBL December 2023 - 7
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