Gratitude, Mind

The Science Behind Gratitude
(and How It Can
Change Your Life)
By Derrick Carpenter, MAPP

http://www.happify.com/hd/the-science-behind-gratitude/

Being happy takes work!   I know a lot of people don’t get this but it does.   We need to practice certain things on a daily basis like gratitude.   Gratitude is not easy for some of us when we are constantly thinking about what we don’t have.   We need to try to focus more on being thankful for what we do have.

You know, we all have a story and we all have issues.   Sometimes the issues do get in the way of us being able to be thankful.   To be thankful of those things that we do have.

If I wake up cranky and in a bad mood it is hard to think about being grateful but it is something I must practice.   When you are going through a tough time in your life, it is very hard to think about what you do have when you don’t have what you do want.

This is a great article to help you start your gratitude journey.   Let’s practice this together!

Read the entire article by going to the link but I did copy and paste some of what I really liked below.

I like how the author says to have a Gratitude Journal.   That is something I am thinking of doing because it will help me stay focused on being thankful.    There are tons of apps that can be used for journaling and they do have passcode protection so that no one has to read your stuff.

Having a gratitude jar is also a great idea.   This can help you take action every day or very often to put something in the jar.

 

“Freshen Up Your Thanks

The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day. Gratitude journaling works because it slowly changes the way we perceive situations by adjusting what we focus on. While you might always be thankful for your great family, just writing “I’m grateful for my family” week after week doesn’t keep your brain on alert for fresh grateful moments. Get specific by writing “Today my husband gave me a shoulder rub when he knew I was really stressed” or “My sister invited me over for dinner so I didn’t have to cook after a long day.” And be sure to stretch yourself beyond the great stuff right in front of you. Opening your eyes to more of the world around you can deeply enhance your gratitude practice. Make a game out of noticing new things each day.

Get Real About Your Gratitude Practice

Being excited about the benefits of gratitude can be a great thing because it gives us the kick we need to start making changes. But if our excitement about sleeping better because of our newfound gratitude keeps us from anticipating how tired we’ll be tomorrow night when we attempt to journal, we’re likely to fumble and lose momentum. When we want to achieve a goal, using the technique of mental contrasting—being optimistic about the benefits of a new habit while also being realistic about how difficult building the habit may be – leads us to exert more effort. Recognize and plan for the obstacles that may get in the way. For instance, if you tend to be exhausted at night, accept that it might not be the best time to focus for a few extra minutes and schedule your gratitude in the morning instead.

Make Thankfulness Fun By Mixing It Up

University of Rochester partners in crime Edward Deci and Richard Ryan study intrinsic motivation, which is the deep desire from within to persist on a task. One of the biggest determinants is autonomy, the ability to do things the way we want. So don’t limit yourself—if journaling is feeling stale, try out new and creative ways to track your grateful moments. (Happify offers an endless variety of gratitude activities to choose from.) My fiancée Michaela decided to create a gratitude jar this year. Any time she experiences a poignant moment of gratitude, she writes it on a piece of paper and puts it in a jar. On New Year’s Eve, she’ll empty the jar and review everything she wrote. When a good thing happens, she now exclaims, “That’s one for the gratitude jar!” It immediately makes the moment more meaningful and keeps us on the lookout for more.

Be Social About Your Gratitude Practice

Our relationships with others are the greatest determinant of our happiness. So it makes sense to think of other people as we build our gratitude. Robert Emmons suggests that focusing our gratitude on people for whom we’re thankful rather than circumstances or material items will enhance the benefits we experience. And while you’re at it, why not include others directly into your expression of gratitude? One Happify activity involves writing a gratitude letter to someone who had an impact on you whom you’ve never properly thanked. You could also share the day’s grateful moments around the dinner table. The conversations that follow may give you even more reasons to give thanks.”

Originally posted 2016-06-14 11:57:28.

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