Gratitude has become a bit of a buzz word lately, with people everywhere telling you to start a gratitude journal. What you may not know, is that there is quite a bit of science behind the power of gratitude. It’s not just that it makes you feel warm and fuzzy in the moment (although it does that too). Expressing gratitude, either verbally or writing it down, on a regular basis can help rewire your brain.
Think about how you train a new skill as a dancer. You do it over and over and over again until the correct body placement feels automatic. You keep training until the skill comes naturally. Training your mind with gratitude works the same way. The more times you think about something that make you happy, or express gratitude to those around you, the more natural those positive thoughts are to your brain. Gratitude can change your brain to find the good in your life both faster and easier. You can train your brain just like you would train a muscle to perfect your favorite dance move.
Our brains have this amazing ability for neural plasticity. We are able to change and adapt in truly remarkable ways! Practicing gratitude is one simple yet powerful way to train your brain to see more positive than negative.
“You can’t have a positive life without a positive mind.”
So especially if you’re in a time in your life where you’re struggling to find the joy in your day, gratitude may be exactly what you need. Expressing gratitude grounds you in what matters in your life. Especially if you feel like things are out of your control, gratitude reminds you of your values and allows you to take control of your own happiness. You are in control of your mind. Even if you can’t do anything about the circumstances around you, you can change how you react to those circumstances. You can choose to change your mindset and find the joy.
Gratitude helps you fall in love with the life you already have.
Questions to prompt the conversation with the dancers on your team:
- What little blessing did you experience in practice today?
- What do you love about yourself?
- Describe a rejection you experienced and how you grew from it.
- What relationships are you most grateful for right now?
- What painful experience as a dancer has helped you grow?
- Identify something in your home that you’re grateful for?
- How can you inject gratitude into a challenging day?
- What experiences have strengthened you?
- What about your body are you grateful for?
- Identify a song that brings you joy. Why?