I often get people looking at me in disbelief when I tell them they can change their life in under a minute.
So I figured I owe you an explanation about how it all works.
It all starts with the fact that the thoughts you think create the emotions you feel, which impact which thoughts you choose to feed. It’s a cycle. Your mind and your body are linked.
If you create a shift in one, you’ll create a shift in another.
You see, your body doesn’t care whether you’re actually experiencing something, say, scary or just imagining it. It will fire off the same stress hormones and chemical reactions either way. And those hormones and chemicals help you to keep feeding the thoughts you need to be thinking in a survival situation.
Similarly, whether you are in the middle of something happy or just imagining or remembering it, your body fires off the endorphins that make you feel good. And those endorphins help you to think happier thoughts.It takes about sixty seconds for the thoughts you’re thinking to impact and shift the chemistry in your body. That’s why, when I ask you to spend a minute thinking about gratitude, it’s a minute, and not just one thought. It has to be long enough to actually create those chemical reaction shifts – then it becomes more sustainable.Perhaps you feel it for yourself? There’s often a point during the minute of gratitude when something shifts – almost like a switch being flicked – that sometimes feels like a sigh of relief as you let go of the stress and tension and surrender to feelings and thoughts that lift your spirits. That’s when you know you’ve done it! And have you noticed how that feeling lasts much longer than the minute you were thinking about gratitude?Looking at this from another angle, I was once taught by a Buddhist monk that any thought, left to its own devices, will pass through in under sixty seconds. He knew that the emotions that went with that thought could be equally transient.
The reason why we end up feeling miserable for hours or even days is because we feed the thoughts and keep telling ourselves the stories about ‘miserable’, which keeps feeding the corresponding chemical reactions in your body – so it can go on and on and on.
If you want to retrain your brain’s auto-pilot habits to feed happier thoughts, then you need to get past that sixty second mark little and often.
Want Better Results For Half The Effort?
For those of you taking part in the Great Gratitude Challenge, by the end of week two you’ll find that you get much better results by doing your gratitude minute, say, five times a day than a one-off ten minute block.
So you get better results for half the effort.
The more often you practise focussing on feeling grateful, opening your heart and mind to see what’s going well, rather than just what’s going wrong, the more it will shift your general thoughts throughout your day.
All you need to do is to remember to do it!
So I’ve got two questions for you – and I’d love to hear from you via the comments:
How will you remind yourself to spend a minute, several times a day, focussing on gratitude?
What does a gratitude minute feel like for you?
With love, Namaste,