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Why Should We Feel Grateful?

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Normally I would talk (or write in this case) about the high frequency of the emotion, gratitude, and how when you can have a high frequency emotion, it can melt away stress and anxiety within your body. This is a topic I am passionate about and will be sure to write on in future, however today I would like to talk about what I learned from reading Mel Robbins' book, the High Five Habit (and by read, I mean I listened to it on Audible).


In the book, Mel explains how our brains have something called a RAS (Reticular Activating System) which is like a 'safety net' for our brains. This safety net stops all the stimuli around us getting into our conscious mind without filter, because if we didn't have the RAS, every single thing going on around us would get into our conscious mind and overload us to a point of going crazy. Instead, the RAS only allows your conscious mind to see / hear / notice etc the things that your brain believes are the most important things to you, plus 3 other things.


The 3 other things are:

  1. Your name - you always hear when someone says your name, even if you are in a crowded room and your name is stated in a different group to your own.

  2. When there is danger - you can be in a deep sleep yet a sound that could mean danger will awaken you.

  3. Sexual attention - notice how you always know when your partner is feeling amorous?

So that is what we all have in common, however what is important to one person is very different to someone else. So how does your brain decide what is important to you and what is not?


Well, your brain believes that what you think about the most, are the things that are most important to you.


Mmm, are you suddenly wondering what you think about most of the time? Well you probably should LOL but you can also just look at your life and how you feel about yourself to work out what your main thoughts are.


If you constantly tell yourself that you are ugly, a loser, a failure, overweight, looking old, stupid, your brain will show you things to ensure that this 'important belief' of yours is secured in your belief system. Your brain will give you more and more reasons to have this belief until it snowballs out of control. In this situation, your brain is filtering out all the things to show you that you are not any of these things. So it isn't that there aren't reasons to believe that you are not any of these negative things, it is just that you won't see them.


If you constantly tell yourself that you are loved, that you are strong, resilient, independent, a success, worthy, kind, beautiful, talented, skilled etc your brain will ensure that everything that happens in your life to promote that belief / thought, will enter into your conscious mind to prove you right. Because whatever you believe, is correct.


Not sure you believe this? Well, I know from my own experience, that when I decided I wanted to become a Mum, I suddenly noticed that everyone was pregnant or had a baby. Where had all these people appeared from? It wasn't that there were suddenly hundreds of Mums around me who hadn't been there before, it's that before it was important to me, I probably only noticed a small number of pregnant women, or women with children. Mel suggests in her book that you make a commitment to yourself to find a heart each and every day. When it is a conscious thought of yours, your brain will let you see the heart shaped bush or cloud, the leaf that you would normally just step on, the hearts on your friend's sweater. You will literally start finding hearts popping up everywhere. Again, it isn't that they weren't there before, it's just that now you are noticing them as the RAS allows them into your conscious mind. Isn't that awesome?


This means that we can all tune out the negative and focus on what we want to see each and every day.


OK so now that we know how the RAS works, it makes sense that if we consistently find things to be grateful for, our brain will show us more and more reasons to feel grateful. Isn't that amazing? The more you think about and feel gratitude, the more you will have reason to feel grateful. I just love this, because it means we get to be in the high frequency space and can let go some of that stress that feels so heavy within us. And just like the negative thoughts and feelings can spiral out of control, so can the feelings of gratitude. Because the more you feel it and the more you are given evidence that you are someone who should feel grateful the more and the faster reasons will come to you.


Wishing you a very happy and fulfilling Thanksgiving. No matter what your situation, remember there are always things to feel grateful for.


Much love, Amanda xoxo