I am always on the lookout for ideas that will help you sustain your motivation and energy to improve. Today’s idea is of deep importance and a rare and true quick fix.
Based on some great, recent research by Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis and Dr. Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami, enhancing your level of gratefulness can result in you:
- Exercising more often, which improves health, stress management, productivity, longevity, appearance, etc.
- Reporting lower stress and fewer physical complaints
- Feeling better about your life as a whole
- Being more optimistic, generous and helpful
- Reducing the material things – happiness connection, which can save you a lot of money
- Having better, deeper relationships
Being more grateful sounds easy, almost like a throw-away thought, but it is more easily sabotaged than you might think. Dr. Emmons suggests that you watch out for the “victim mentality” and feelings of entitlement and deservedness. When you notice these faults in your (or other’s) thinking and actions, do a spin more and refocus on gratefulness.
Dr. Emmons and Dr. McCullough suggest that gratefulness can be improved by keeping a weekly gratitude journal. Gratitude journaling can help you clarify and develop a valuable reminder of what is important in your life.
This is a great idea worth doing. However, it is often not realistic for many of you, my busy subscribers. Perhaps how I practice gratefulness can provide a more user friendly application for you. When retiring for the night my family and I discuss our “high points” for the day. We talk about the good things that happened and what made those things possible. This allows the discussion, and our day’s thoughts, to end on a note of gratitude.
Another helpful idea is to have a predetermined list of gratefulness thoughts to bail you out when your attitude takes a negative turn. Here are a few:
- Life is a gift
- I appreciate the earth
- I am grateful for the love I receive from my family & friends
- I am grateful for who I am right now
- I am grateful for my strengths
- I am grateful to have a job that serves humankind
- I am grateful for my health and that is can be improved
What about you? Do you have any gratefulness affirmations to add to this list? I’d be grateful if you would share-
Andy also wrote the book Change Your Day, Not Your Life, a guide to sustained motivation and more productivity.
See Andy's speaking schedule for an event near you.
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