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How to Be Happier This Thanksgiving and Beyond!

Mindset Made Simple Tip #71 - To watch or listen, click HERE.

“What does this have to do with softball?” was the question.

It came this morning after a session on the benefits of gratitude.

This question coming from a college athlete is a good one!

What does this mindset stuff…this mental performance talk…specifically this morning - this discussion about gratitude…have to do with softball (or any other sport)?

EVERYTHING young grasshopper! 😊

As Mr. Miyagi said “Lesson just not Karate. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance, everything be better!”

The links to visualization, focus, deliberate rehearsal, dealing with pressure, breathing techniques and other tools seem to have a more direct relation to performance. These tools seem more tangible.

But this gratitude thing? Really?

Writing in a gratitude journal or sending a thank you note will help me perform better?



Because, according to tons of research, positive emotion is one of the biggest predictors of peak performance.

And gratitude makes us more positive -as individuals and as a team!

How can we become more positive?


So, you’re telling me that if I am more grateful, my team and I will perform better?


Author Jo Miller says “a culture of GRATITUDE is the most underestimated way to BUILD A STRONG TEAM!


Because when we are grateful, we feel better and make others feel better and more appreciated, too!

Gratitude and positive emotion put us in what Dr. Barbara Fredrickson calls “broaden and build.” This BROADENS our awareness and allows us to BUILD better relationships, better physical and emotional health, it reduces aggression, increases our mental strength and self-esteem and increases our overall well-being.

What team wouldn’t want this?

According to a 2020 article in Forbes by Dr. Jonathan Westover “showing gratitude to employees is the easiest, fastest most inexpensive way to boost performance.” He goes on to refer to another Forbes article by Karl Sun that reports that showing gratitude leads to a significant increase in happiness in both the person being grateful and the one he or she was grateful for and those working in a culture of gratitude experience greater satisfaction with life. They even have fewer headaches and illnesses!

You didn’t realize gratitude may be the medicine that keeps your kids out of the training room, did you? 😊

We have discussed gratitude many times before but making a few small changes to our day can make such a huge difference in our mindset…and our performance.

It can also make us happier this Thanksgiving and long after the leftovers are gone!

Want to be grateful more and complain less?

Wear a bracelet or rubber band on your wrist and move it from wrist to wrist like a volleyball referee on every side out for each complaint. This will draw your attention to your bad habit and help you become aware.

Moving the band or bracelet can serve as your cue to look for something good in the situation. This is an instant change of REACTION and we all know that EVENT + REACTION = OUTCOME and the reaction part of this equation changes everything that happens next!

How different does the next thought or action look after this wrist-changing/mind-changing action?

Want to live longer?

According to Shawn Achor in Before Happiness, starting off your day by sending an email of gratitude to someone immediately boost your mood. Doing it for 21 days was found to significantly increase the feelings of social support.

This not only influences the quality of your life, but it may also affect how long you live!


Gratitude leads to increased social support. And according to Achor’s research, social support effects longevity as much as smoking, obesity and high blood pressure…but in a good way, of course!

Want to be more appreciative of your experiences?

What is one situation that has happened in the last month that was less than desirable? How can you look at it just a little differently and find something good in it that helped you move forward?

Changing our perspective, looking for the lesson, realizing that sometimes the hardest things in life turn into the best things in life can help us feel better and play better. Everything in life is not ideal, but everything we witness or experience prepares us for what is to come. How can you reframe your experience to help you be better the next time?

Being grateful for others, looking for the bright spots in our everyday lives and finding the good in those less than desirable experiences can change the way we think and react. Since our thoughts affect our emotions which affect our actions which affect our performance which affects our results.

So, what does all of this have to do with softball?

Since our thoughts affect our emotions which affect our actions which affect our performance which affects our results, it has EVERYTHING to do with softball, better performance and a more balanced and better life, Grasshopper 😊!

This tip would not be complete without expressing my gratitude to you. Thank you for supporting me in sharing these tips.

I absolutely love learning, sharing and working with athletes and teams, and without you, these fulfilling experiences are not possible!

Happy Thanksgiving to you, your teams and your families!

With gratitude and every good wish!


P.S. I’d love to work with you and those you lead. Let’s plan a time to chat about how my programs and tools can help your athletes or employees handle pressure and perform at their best!

Julie Jones

Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946



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