Cultivating the emotion of gratitude is proven to boost overall joy, health and energy.
Just look at this list of documented benefits:
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated.
But how can we actually do this? How can we become more grateful?
Isn’t it kind of “fake” or cheesy to artificially “cultivating” feelings of gratitude?
One part of me doesn’t really like the idea of “cultivating” feelings.
But when I see it as a practice of shifting perspective and simply focusing on what is working in our lives to get a more balanced picture of how things are going… then it’s all good with me.
So what does the actual practice look like? How can we install the habit of focusing on what’s actually good in our lives?
And a quick note before we go into it. I really don’t believe we should ignore the difficult and challenging aspects of our lives. These are definitely to be dealt with also. But I believe that it’s far more effective to deal with these out of a positive frame of mind.
Every morning, sit down and recall moments of gratitude. Remind yourself of good things that are in your life. Benefits, things you enjoy, people that bring you joy or situations you’ve enjoyed. Write them down in a simple sentence. Try to find 5 things to be grateful for.
In the beginning this might be hard, but as you go, you will be more proficient in “digging for gold” in your memory bank.
Some things you might add to your daily gratitude journal:
* A colleague you enjoy working with and a specific attribute you enjoy with this person
* Small things you enjoy in your day to day.
* Personal attributes you’re proud of.
* Great Memories you have.
Some quotes of Dr. Emmons:
“Here’s a frightening statistic: by the age of twenty-one, the average adult will have seen one million TV commercials. By playing on our desires and fears, these ads fabricate needs and cultivate ingratitude for what we have and who we are.”
~ Robert Emmons
“One of the best ways to cultivate gratitude is to establish a daily practice in which you remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits, and good things you enjoy.”
* “Thanks! – How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier” by Dr. Robert Emmons
Check out more about Dr. Emmons here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_A._Emmons
Peace & all good!