Category Archives: Gratitude

# 39 Focus Again on Gratitude

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Have you continued to write down each day three things you are grateful for?  How are you feeling?  Is it becoming more automatic, more natural?

If you haven’t been practicing gratitude, practice here for today.  Write three things you are grateful for today.

1.  _________________________________________________________________________

2.  _________________________________________________________________________

3.  _________________________________________________________________________

Go to the website:   http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/labs/emmons/

Do some reading on the benefits of practicing gratitude.  Here is what researchers have found:   Keeping a gratitude journal on a weekly basis  exercised more regularly, felt better physically, and were more optimistic about the week ahead.   Those who kept gratitude journals were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals.   In another study the gratitude journalers reported higher levels of positive states of alertness and enthusiasm, as opposed to reporting a focus on negative things such as hassles and setbacks.   Those who kept gratitude journals were more likely to have helped someone with a personal problem or offered emotional support to others.  A study of people who suffered from a chronic illness found that those who kept a gratitude journal for three weeks not only had a more positive mood but slept better.

How has it benefited you so far?.

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Refercnces

McCullough, M.E., Emmons, R.A., & Tsang, J. 2002. The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112-127.

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# 34 Thank Someone Who Helped You Fly Higher

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Do you remember that song written by Henley and Silbar and made popular by Bette Midler titled “You are the Wind Beneath my Wings” ? It starts, “So I was the one with all the glory, While you were the one with all  the strain.” It is a great song to sing at graduation ceremonies to acknowledge all that the parents did for the students. “It might have appeared to go unnoticed,” she sings, “But I’ve got it all inside my heart. I want you to know the truth. I would be nothing without you.”

Who has been the wind beneath your wings? Who has stood in your shadow when you received all the glory? What sacrifices did that person make for your benefit? Was it a parent? A brother or sister, aunt/uncle, or grandparent? A coach? What did they do for you?

If that person is still alive, make a phone call to them today, or send a letter and tell them you appreciate what they did. It will be unexpected, it will be awkward. It also will be much appreciated.

Better yet, says psychologist and researcher Martin Seligman of Penn State University, is to do it in person. “The best way to turbo charge your joy is to make a ‘gratitude visit’ “ he says in a Time magazine interview. That means to write a full testimonial to someone to whom you owe a debt of gratitude, and then visit that person to read them the letter of appreciation. After you complete this assignment, write down your reactions.

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Henley, L. & Silbar, J.  “Wind Beneath my Wings.”  WB Gold Music Corp., ASCAP.  Warner House of Music, BMI.  (Sung by Bette Midler, Experience the Divine, Atlantic Recording, 1993).

Seligman, M. quoted in, Wallis, C., “The New Science of Happiness.”  Time, Jan. 17, 2005.

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# 9 Write Down What You Are Grateful For

Baha'ullah           A thankful person is thankful under all circumstances. 

A complaining soul complains even if he lives in paradise.

–Baha’ullah

lime-green-dotIn a U-turn in the road of psychological research, behavioral scientists are moving away from studying what makes people depressed, and they have begun to study what makes people happy.  Psychologist Sonia Lyubomirsky at the University of California at Riverside conducted a simple study in which she asked people to keep a gratitude journal.  Her participants made an entry once a week, listing the things for which they were grateful.  Over a period of six weeks, these people rated themselves as significantly happier than the control group of subjects who did not keep a journal.

*  Write down three things which you are grateful for today.

(1)   _______________________________________________

(2)  _______________________________________________

(3)  _______________________________________________

Conduct your own research.  If you use a calendar on your computer, make six entries (once a week for the next six weeks) with the reminder on your “to do” list:  “List three things I am grateful for today.”  If you use a pocket calendar, make your entries there.

Reference

Lyubomirsky, S.  2007.  The How of Happiness:  Scientific approaches to getting the life you want.  New York:  Penguin Books.

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# 3 Assess Your GQ (Gratitude Quotient)

lime-green-dotMaze.jpgGratitude is the felt sense of the fullness of one’s life. It is a taking stock of what one has, of what is good now and has been good in the past.  Martin Seligman has said, “The reason gratitude works to increase life satisfaction is that it amplifies good memories about the past:  their intensity, their frequency, and the tag lines the memories have.”

Take the Gratitude Survey by Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons.  Using the scale below as a guide, write a number beside each statement to indicate how much you agree with it.

1 = Strongly disagree

2 = Disagree

3 = Slightly disagree

4 = Neutral

5 = Slightly agree

6 = Agree

7 = Strongly agree

_____ 1.  I have so much in life to be thankful for.

_____ 2.  If I had to list everything that I felt grateful for, it would be a very long llist.

_____ 3.  When I look at the world, I don’t see much to be grateful for.

_____ 4.  I am grateful to a wide variety of people.

_____ 5.  As I get older, I find myself more able to appreciate the people, events, and situations that have been part of my life history.

_____ 6.  Long amounts of time can go by before I feel grateful to something or someone.

Scoring Instructions:

1.  Add up your scores for items 1, 2, 4, and 5.

2.  Reverse your scores for items 3 and 6.  That is, if you scored a 7, give

yourself a 1, if you scored a 5, give yourself a 3, etc.

3.  Add up the total for all 6 items.  The number should be between

6 and 42.

If you scored between 35 or below, then you are in the bottom one fourth of the sample in terms of gratitude.  If you scored between 36 and 38, you are in the bottom one half.  If you scored between 39 and 41, you are in the top 25%, and if you scored a perfect 42, you are in the top one eighth.  Older people tend to score higher than young people, and women usually score higher than men.

Enter your score here: _______________

References

 McCullough, M., Emmons, R., & Tsang, J.  2002.  The grateful disposition:  A conceptual and empirical topography.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,  82, 442-447.

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