Back in March I started this 3 x 3 inch journal as an exercise to pause and remember the experiences or moments that made me happy in my day.
|blooming Japanese Stewartia, gratitude|
I had worked my way out of a difficult transition in my life and was in a better place, but found myself still hovering on the pain rather than focusing on my progress and successes. I wanted to get out of that futile loop. My hope in keeping the journal was to redirect my avenues of thought: to acknowledge what I have and recognize how far I've come.
|letter from my uncle, gratitude|
Recently, I learned in my cousera brain class that negative thoughts change our brain chemistry.
Your frontal lobe, particularly your prefrontal cortex, decides what is important according to the amount of attention you pay to something and how you feel about it. Thus, the more you focus on negativity, the more synapses and neurons your brain will create that support your negative thought process.
co-written by Teresa Aubele, Ph.D. and Susan Reynolds
The research on gratitude by Prof. Robert Emmons
saw a positive effect on hours of sleep and on time spent exercising, on more optimistic expectations for the coming week, and fewer reported physical symptoms, such as pain.
|neigborhood cat, gratitude|
|owl collage, gratitude|
It's hard to believe that almost four months have passed since I started it. I notice I am pausing more often in my day and noting what I like. When the old thoughts or futile stresses come up, I am able to move on more quickly.
wishing everyone a good weekend and blog hopping with Sunday Sketches