"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“There is now good scientific evidence that expressing appreciation for what you have has a remarkable effect on your self-judgment system and your overall well-being, most likely because it confronts negativity and increases the production of dopamine—your brain’s pleasure juice.”
This is a quote from “The Brave Athlete” written by Simon Marshall, PhD and Lesley Paterson, one of my favorite sports psychology books. I really consider it a life psychology book because our mental state out-of-sport certainly impacts how we think and feel in sport. They reference A.M. Wood, J.J. Froh, and A.W. Geraghty from “Gratitude and Well-Being: A Review and Theoretical Integration,” in Clinical Psychology Review 30, no. 7 (2010), 890-905.
Dr. Marshall and Ms. Paterson recommend setting up a “Daily Gratitude Log” where you find three things that you are grateful for each day. Write them down. As they say, it might sound trite and trivial, but it’s based on evidence that it actually works. They don’t need to be life changing statements of gratitude and they suggest avoiding vague concepts or future events. One example they give is simply “I’m grateful for getting into bed on the first night of clean sheets.” Simple. Quick. Personally, even just thinking about that feeling seems to lighten my mood and put a smile on my face.
This little act can help us slow down and take a moment to recognize even the little things that make us happy which can in turn potentially really help out our well-being.
Try it. There’s not much to lose. If you already do this or after you give it a try, let us know how it goes by leaving a comment below.
I hope you all have an enjoyable Thanksgiving Holiday and take time to slow down and reflect and be thankful. Eat, drink, be merry, and get out for some great Fall riding!
Coach B.L. is the head coach at BJL Coaching and an avid racer and cycling enthusiast himself.