#BrainFactMonday – Should You Stop Saying You’re Lucky?
Posted on 6th November 2023
A while back, I launched a poll right here on Linkedin with a simple question: what do you tend to say most often: "𝗜'𝗺 𝗹𝘂𝗰𝗸𝘆" or "𝗜'𝗺 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗳𝘂𝗹"?
I was pleased to see that the majority of people said "I'm grateful" 😀
Many of us use the terms "lucky" and "grateful" interchangeably, believing they express similar sentiments. However, our brain processes these two phrases differently, and it has a significant impact on our overall well-being. In this #BrainFactMonday we look at 🧠 The Neuroscience of Gratitude vs. Luck 🙌
1️⃣ "𝗜'𝗺 𝗟𝘂𝗰𝗸𝘆" - 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝘂𝗰𝗸 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘀𝗲𝘁
When you say, "I'm lucky," you tend to attribute your successes or positive experiences to chance, fate, or external factors beyond your control. This mindset can unintentionally 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳-𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗲𝗺, as it implies that your achievements aren't a result of your efforts or abilities.
2️⃣ "𝗜'𝗺 𝗚𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗳𝘂𝗹" - 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘀𝗲𝘁
When you say, "I'm grateful," it shifts the focus inward. It acknowledges the positive aspects of your life and highlights your appreciation for them. This mindset encourages you to recognize the people, opportunities, and experiences that have contributed to your well-being/success/achievements, empowering you and suggesting you are an active participant in 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀.
Neuroscientific studies have shown that practising gratitude has several positive effects on our brains and lives. When you cultivate a gratitude mindset:
🧠 Your brain releases dopamine and serotonin, enhancing your mood and overall well-being.
💪 It reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
🌱 It fosters resilience and strengthens your ability to cope with challenges.
🙏 It improves relationships by enhancing empathy and compassion.
So, while the words "lucky" and "grateful" may appear to be similar, they influence your neural pathways and thought patterns differently. By choosing to be grateful, you 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 and, in turn, create a more positive and fulfilling life.
So, from now on, make a conscious effort to cultivate gratitude in your daily life. Whether it's in your career or personal relationships, the power of "I'm grateful" is a small shift in language with a profound impact on your brain and, ultimately, your life. Tried and tested it... believe me 😁