Consciously Practicing Gratitude

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Ever hear, “Be grateful you have a roof over your head!!”? Hopefully, you don’t think of the act of being grateful this way! It turns out there are more benefits to being grateful than you may realize.

Dr. Melissa Hughes incorporates brain-based research, humor, and practical strategies to improve the way we think, learn, communicate and collaborate. Per her post on what happens inside a grateful brain, “A genuine expression of gratitude to someone else gives your brain a bigger reward than the person you thank!”

Well, she wrote a book on the topic, Happy Hour with Einstein. “Over the last few decades, advances in neuroscience have illuminated important discoveries about our capacity for learning, problem-solving, creativity, success, and happiness… Part one explores the regions of the brain and explains how laughter, doodling, movement, surprise, and gratitude have been proven to change the way we think and learn. Part two enables you to put that information to work in the form of a gratitude journal.”

Gratitude for Success

Following are some quotes on this topic and its impact…

  • “Gratitude is the antidote to the two things that stop us: fear and anger.” –Tony Robbins
  • “Successful entrepreneurs, authors, and innovators like Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, John Paul DeJoria, Tim Ferriss, and others all have one thing in common. To achieve more, to be happy, and to make a difference, they consciously practice gratitude.”
  • “Many people seem to think it’s somehow gauche or naïve to be too grateful: I actually overheard a 20-something guy on the subway today say, ‘I don’t know what there is to be thankful for, given this insane world.’ That sentiment is not uncommon. There’s quite a bit of research, though, to support the idea that experiencing gratitude can positively impact both your mental/emotional state and your ability to achieve the life you want.”

Being Grateful Even for the Bad

  • “Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good even in unpleasant situations.”
  • “101 Reasons to Be Thankful that includes ‘negative’ reasons like challenges, disappointment and failure!” -Geoffrey James
  • “If something bad happens to you during the day, your happiness can drop momentarily, but then it returns to its natural set-point. Likewise, if something positive happens to you, your level of happiness rises, and then it returns once again to your ‘happiness set-point’. A practice of gratitude raises your ‘happiness set-point’ so you can remain at a higher level of happiness regardless of outside circumstances…

BE Grateful (Daily) Even for the Ugly

Hal Elrod went through a lot. He was dead for 6 minutes and then lost almost everything years after coming back to life. Some would say he has ample reason NOT to be grateful. Instead, he wrote The Miracle Morning. Here are some of his great quotes — that got me to appreciate even those not-so-good times…

  • “Be grateful for your challenges, setbacks, adversity and disappointments. Be grateful for your opportunity to overcome every single one, because doing so contributes to your growth & your ability to help others overcome theirs.”
  • “Through the good times and bad, the quality of your relationships will ultimately determine the quality of your life. So be grateful for your loved ones and focus on adding as much value to their lives as you possibly can.”
  • “Life is amazing. Even when it sucks, it is amazing, and we should be grateful for every moment.”

Action

To paraphrase Clint Eastwood… “Go ahead… MAKE my [grateful] day!” ;)

Seriously, I’d hope you’ll check out something I wrote, Six Minute Scribing.

It is a fresh twist on routines. I’d be grateful if any of it helps you to put this habit into practice daily.

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personal development, neuroscience, how-to