A long time ago in a place far far away, we could choose one of two professions. We could be a hunter or a gatherer, and to be honest, most of it would depend on our spear throwing capabilities. Either way our housewares were available exclusively in stone, and the only real fashion tip was the less loin the better.
Fast forward 12,000 years later to today, and we’re in the official era of “Techlightenment” where we literally have a worldwide web of information on the cusp of our restless and eager fingertips waiting to read more, buy more, save more, share more, have more…more,more, more.
If we compare how the human race began with so little to where we are today, Madonna sums it up clearly...“Yes, we are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.” It's the simplest explanation to our new era of overabundance. Not only do we encounter thousands of options on a daily basis, from smart phones to salad dressing, but each of those choices becomes a decision which makes us feel uncertain, guilty, or filled with FOMO.
Due to the nature of our society, it’s natural to want more and more. BUT at the end of the day, we just don’t need that much shit to survive. The sooner we realize this as a society, the better, as it will be a crucial contributing factor to our happiness and our lives.
It’s time we stop for a mo and properly thank Ms. Hunter and Mr. Gatherer for developing bigger brains, all for us to think with, my darlings! It’s not about how much we own, who we’re wearing, and how much we make. It’s about getting back to the basics and focusing on our connections with others, continuous growth & development of the mind and body, and living the NOW to the absolute fullest.
One thing we can start doing right now to make a positive difference in our lives is practice gratitude, and we have the science to back it up. So here are 5 reasons why grateful is the new black.
1. Gratitude goes with anything
Women, whether we feel up, down, over or out, we can always count on our closet filled with black staple pieces to make it appear as if we’ve put some type of effort into the outfit we’ve thrown on. Win! Believe it or not, gratitude works the same exact way. Any given moment, we can always find one thing to be grateful for in our lives.
Have two legs that walk and a booty to shake? A nose to sniff fresh cookies? A friend to call, a comfy bed, a job, a passion, a plane ticket booked, a lucky pair of jeans? A roof over your head, a book to read, two for one wine bottles on sale? The list goes on and on, and it’s time to start paying attention to the simple things we take for granted every day, and simply start appreciating them.
2. Gratitude makes you feel good
One of the fabulous things about being a woman is the LBD – the wardrobe essential called the little black dress that we can always slip into if none of the other 46 outfits we tried on feels right. You know the feeling, and as soon as you slip that black beauty on, you look slamming, you feel slamming, henceforth you ARE slamming. HIGH FIVE.
If the LBD is a fashion must have, then being grateful is a LIFE must have. If we’re in a slumpy mood and nothing feels right, we can turn to gratitude for an instant mood boost. Get this…the more we practice appreciation and thanks, the more feel good benefits we’ll start to see and feel.
Greater Good Science Center has spent the past 12 years diving into the science of happiness, and studies show that practicing gratitude links with “exhibiting higher levels of positive emotions, stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure, and feeling less lonely and isolated.”
All that for being genuinely thankful? Sounds even better than getting a ‘free gift with purchase’!
3. Gratitude is forever flattering
There’s something about stepping out in all black that makes us feel sexy and seductive. We might have 8 layers on, a runny nose, unwashed hair (or all the above), but if we’re wearing black, we’re feeling saucy and ready to take on the world! Roar.
While black will forever flatter our figures, gratitude will shine a new light on our outlook and energy. Science says that gratitude is linked to an increase in feelings of joy, optimism and happiness, also more shows of generosity and compassion.
People are naturally attracted to positive vibes, and happy people make other people happy. If we start filling our attitudes with gratitude and begin savoring and celebrating moments, our body will produce positive effects all around.
So the only thing left to make that all-black ensemble damn sexier? How about a wide, white toothed smile to top it all off :)
4. Gratitude will change your life for the better
In the fashion industry, the color black is a timeless staple; the one trend that is not going anywhere…ever. We found something that we can all bank on, and we are effing working it.
Think of gratitude in the same way, except exchange closets for connection. The color black has enmeshed itself into our closets in every which way, and so should gratitude be used to elevate our connections to others. Savoring a simple act of kindness, acknowledging another person’s effort to help, and offering genuine thanks actually “engages our biological systems for trust and affection, alongside circuits for pleasure and reward.”
In other words, being thankful for someone and showing it will make your body go SCHWING, and will nurture our connections in a meaningful and genuine way. So what are you waiting for? Get thankin.
5. Gratitude still has a dark side
Bum bum BUM. Black is more than just a fashion essential, and gratitude is more than just giving thanks now and again. Being grateful is a natural way to improve the thought processes of OUR dark side. It’s inevitable that we all have our ups and downs – for example, the why is this happening to me, this must be a joke, is this real life, it can only get better, okay NOW it has to get better, and so on and so forth.
When we start practicing gratitude, it can help us turn a setback into a stepping stone. Gratitude is a way of thinking that allows you to rise above the funk and pick out the good in every situation. Science calls it a ‘critical cognitive process.’ It allows us the power to turn an obstacle into an opportunity, and choose appreciating the positive instead of focusing on the negative.
If you look at life the right way, you can even find reasons to thank the people who hurt or piss you off the most – that ex who ended it, and forced you to focus on your own self growth and development; that boss who challenges you to find solutions everyday, and even that old dude tottering slowly down the street, who makes you appreciate your youth and is a reminder to let go of the lazy and live it up while you can.
The bottom line is…
Gratitude will never go out of style. Being thankful doesn’t change with the seasons. Each of us reading this has hundreds of reasons to be grateful, and once we realize as a whole how gratitude naturally leads us to happiness, we will celebrate moments, and each other, 365 days a year. It’s time to start wearing our thanks on our stylish sleeves, thinking outside ourselves and more about how lucky we are, instead of just the more, more, morethat society has ingrained in us.
Thank YOU for taking the time to read this, and please share one thing you are grateful for right now in the comments below! :)
Science facts gathered from Greater Good Science Center research.