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Why Gratitude Makes You Smarter

Happy New Year! We can still say that through all of January, correct? Hope your 2017 is off to a fantastic start.

Something we constantly emphasize with our team at SunLife Organics, especially amongst those in leadership roles, is the benefit of morning routines in laying the foundation for your day.  One activity we strongly encourage incorporating into this routine is making a gratitude list. My personal list is comprised mainly of things that happened the day before (big and small) to keep it fresh.

Although you could do this in your head, I recommend writing these lists in a journal. The act of writing helps keep you focused, plus you then have a record of all the amazing things that happened in your life. It’s been a long time since staying out past 10 o’clock or drinking champagne sounded like a good idea to me (not knocking it if it does to you), so December 31, 2016, I flipped open my journals and skimmed through my gratitude lists for the year. Through this process, I not only got to relive the year through this incredibly positive filter, I also received a welcome reminder of the accomplishments of 2016. A lot of progress comes out of the mentality I share with my business partner (a.k.a one of Town and Country’s Bachelors of the Year ;) ) of “Yes we did this, but we haven’t done that yet” or “We could be doing this better”, but to make sure it’s not at the cost of anyone’s sanity, including our own, it’s important to balance that thinking with the moments of “Wow, look how far we’ve come”.

As I read, I snapped some pics of the entries that stood out to me and the next day, I texted them to the people they referenced and let them know why I was grateful to have them in my life. I didn’t do it for a response, but that said, the fulfillment I experienced after realizing what an impact I had had on people’s days (another key tenet of the SunLife philosophy), in conjunction with the profound joy that came out of choosing to be grateful, was the greatest natural high I’ve experienced in a long time. When I sat down afterward to do some 2017 goal setting, the words and ideas flowed through me so clearly.

But of course they did. 

Recently I heard a podcast with Tony Robbins (Tim Ferris #178: On Achievement vs Fulfillment) where he talks about the hormones in your heart that affect the way your brain functions. If you put electrodes on your brain and your heart (EEG and EKG), in your normal state the results would look pretty jagged and they won’t look anything like each other. But when you pause, put your hands on your heart, breathe into it and focus on gratitude for two minutes, the results become rounded and they actually sync up, becoming an identical reflection of one another. This state is when your thinking is most clear and balanced, when your heart and head (i.e. conscious and unconscious mind) are in alignment.

So among all of the other things we want to accomplish or change or acquire this year, might we suggest letting gratitude be the foundation for the decisions you make and the actions you take. On that note, we are immeasurably grateful for the beautiful souls who love, heal and inspire us every day, on both sides of the bar. Can't wait to spend more time with you this year!

Hayley Gorcey

Owner/ Co-founder

SunLife Organics

1 comment

Mar 28, 2017

Hello Hayley – You’re absolutely right; gratitude is the source of a good life!

My name is Steffen Ipland, founder of the Danish treatment & life skills training program Move-Forward and I practice as counsellor for young people who has experience of drug/alcohol and mental health issues.
The first thing I teach my students is how they make a gratitude list.

After 30 years as destructive alcoholic and drug addict the first thing I think of every morning: God, I breathe. When we set the clock forward to summer, I think: another spring and smiles happily.

Every morning when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand new hours to live. What a precious gift. We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy and happiness to ourselves and others.

I wish you all the best in life

Steffen Ipland

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