The “Head Trip” Of Gratitude

We teach gratitude as an experienced emotion and a NeuroPositive™ State Of Mind in our Emotional Gym.™

To be grounded in gratitude as a “feeling state,” as an experiential reality, not just a thought, an idea, or a cognitive “knowing,” is our goal.

Gratitude is not just a head trip.

The aim is to experience, to feel gratitude as a State Of Mind so entrenched that it becomes like a default setting or the ambient sound track of our mind -it just is and it grows.

It builds and strengthens the “positive emotional muscle” of the brain.

Gratitude is not just a good idea or a thought; it is a way of being in the world. It is a profoundly important State Of Mind.

All of us experience “dis-ease” of one kind or another, some worse than others. Every condition is an opportunity to use the discomfort as a cue to find something beautiful, to move in the direction of the “felt feelings” of gratitude, the think some grateful thought, to feel love toward someone.

Simply stated, we can learn to use the discomfort as a cue to find something that feels good.

The things I most enjoy I cannot buy or own. They are just there for the appreciating and experiencing. I am rich.

I look at the intricate miles of highway systems that I am minutes from being able to jump on to go just about anywhere, and I know that my taxes give me a piece of the ownership of the passages to places of enjoyment. I am rich.

I consider the things I enjoy: the coffee shops, the treasure hunts to consignments stores, the mountain climbs, the trails, the sunsets, and the feel of the air. And I know that I am rich.

I think of the friends I can reach by a phone call and find understanding, help, or a laugh, and I am rich.

I think of the inexhaustible resources of knowledge, fun, engagement, and pleasure that are all around me, and I am rich.

I have my mind and my consciousness, and I can create the emotional state I want to be in at any time. And I am rich.

The most important things I have, economic ups and downs cannot take from me, and I can only own these things by growing my “felt feelings” of gratitude and appreciation. I am rich.

The NeuroPositive Method™ isn't “change a thought-change your life.”

It's affective (emotion-based), and our focus is on affective interventions to most rapidly change neuropathic growth.

The limitation of cognitive-based interventions is that there is no guarantee that they will change affect (feeling), and a change in affect is where long-lasting change lies.

The primary tool is The Emotional Gym.™ We can change our experience of feeling safety or threat in life by changing a feeling first, an affective intervention.

Challenges of threat and the conscious decision to pivot to an experience of greater safety are cues to go to a feeling state, not a thought, not a cognitive affirmation, or a cognitive “I can think this away,” but to positive emotions, an affective intervention.

A cognitive intervention will work if there is an affective change first.

Otherwise, we just embark on a head-trip.  

On the pathways of your neurons, affect (feeling) takes the lead, and cognition yields the right of way.

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute