What a money-spinner Valentine’s Day is. How much money is made on this day, playing on our emotions, and the need to show love and to feel loved? And without trying to be too cynical and dismissive of the romantic fluff surrounding this day, the essence of what can be learnt on Valentine’s Day is often forgotten. Essentially, Valentine’s Day is really no different from any other day. Isn’t every day about being grateful and appreciative for the special people in our life? Isn’t it important every day to take time to reflect on everything that we have in our life rather than focusing on the deficits, the flaws, the negatives?
It is so easy to be caught up in what is missing, what someone is not doing or saying or giving us, or what is wrong with our relationship. And our mind rests so comfortably and easily on the negative, and tends to go there automatically.
“When we appreciate the little things our body releases oxytocin”
If we flip this mindset of “not enough” or deprivation, into one of gratitude and appreciation, a whole cascade of different neurochemicals and neuropeptides are released in the body. An essential one is oxytocin, otherwise known as the love, bonding or “cuddle” hormone. When we appreciate the little things in our relationships, a kind word or gesture, a happy moment or memory we start to be grateful and appreciative, and the body releases oxytocin. Research has definitely shown that grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed and more satisfied both with themselves as well as in their relationships with significant others. Noticing the things we sometimes take for granted, and being appreciative automatically lifts you emotionally and helps to put a smile on your face.
Remember, gratitude comes in all shapes and sizes. It is not always wrapped up with a big bow, pink and pretty. Taking Vitamin O daily is quick, easy and doesn’t cost any money, yet will reap so many rewards. You cannot overdose on it!