Monday, September 21, 2015

World Gratitude Day

Make World Gratitude Day the beginning of a new gratitude practice. Gratitude, according to the Handbook of Adult Resilience is defined as a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation expressed toward others--other people, nature, God. The association between intentionally noting things that you are grateful for and and increased sense of well being has been demonstrated throughout the scientific research. Studies on gratitude in student samples and in people with serious illness have demonstrated that keeping a gratitude journal is associated with less negative affect, fewer physical symptoms, better sleep quality, and greater satisfaction with life. In one study students that were asked to “ count their blessings” once per week had a significant increase in positive affect over 6 weeks compared to a control group.
The practice of gratitude is more than creating a checklist of things you are grateful for it is a deeper processing of personal experiences.  It is more that the who or what happened but also the why that matters so Why are you grateful and how do you develop a gratitude practice. A few options are starting a gratitude journal, writing a thank you note and thinking about the absence of a positive event. For example  you can ask, what if that person wasn't in our life? We then think about the loss and think about why we are grateful that we have them in our lives and we cultivate the sense of Gratitude .
We have different times in our lives where we experience gratitude.
What practice do you think will work for you?  Next I will discuss a variety of practices you can try.  
Gratitude Journal

The first one is weekly gratitude journaling. Research has identified the optimal frequency research has pinpointed once a week as the optimal frequency to engage in gratitude journaling. Step one is to reflect on your week and identify five things for which you are grateful for, or was a surprised in a positive way, that happened.
After listing the five things think about if it would have never happened, how would that have affected you. What you want to do is think about why you're grateful for that event, or that person, or action that was directed in your way. To recap Identify five things that you have an appreciation for, or are thankful for, or grateful for, in the past week.
And really imagining the absence of that event so you can process why it really was a meaningful event that happened to you.

The second practice is creating thank you notes for anything that you are thankful for.
And the most impact that's been shown through research is actually writing a gratitude letter. And engaging in a gratitude visit to someone who you're really grateful to have in your life. To say, what am I grateful for? You may be grateful for a variety of things even someone that may bother you because This person is actually causing me to become better. And also it gives you a sense of appreciation for my own family members. Research actually has the most support for, is actually doing a gratitude letter or visit. Martin Seligman, who is considered the godfather the positive psychology movement, actually developed this technique at the University of Pennsylvania. In one of his psychology courses.
And the gratitude letter-visit actually requires the person to sit down and write a letter to a mentor, a family member, or friend, or any other important person in the person's life
whom they've never really properly thanked or conveyed their deep appreciation to. You write to this person a letter tell them what it is about them that you're truly grateful, and you appreciate, and you're thankful for.When you write that letter, you then prepare to do the visit. The person doesn't necessarily know the nature of why you want to get together with them. It could be a family member or anybody in your life who you want to write this letter for. But you're going to arrange this meeting. At the meeting, you're going to actually read the letter to them and give the letter to them. You may think about a loved one once you think about the absence of that person it cultivates a sense of gratitude.

World Gratitude Day. What are you grateful for?