During times like these, we are all looking for ways to ease the anxiety, quiet the mind, and focus on the positive, so in this week’s podcast, I will teach you how to do that.
I will share a life coaching tool with you as well as the research behind it. Don’t worry, it’s not textbook, boring research -- it's fun and has to do with Gorillas!
I also have a new free download for you today to deepen the impact of the podcast for you. It’s a FREE Daily Gratitude Journal. Download it HERE!
And for more positive inspiration, join us in the Life Designed Community on Facebook!
Welcome to A Life Designed.
My name is Tina Haisman. I help women who are struggling with the overwhelm of trying to balance being a wife, mother and career-woman.
When they work with me, they discover how to design their life so they can live in alignment with their priorities.
The topic of today’s podcast is …
How Gratitude Can Improve Your Life
But before we get started, I have something for you. It is a Daily Gratitude Worksheet. That you can use to cultivate more gratitude. I will put the link for you to download it in the show notes.
I would also like to invite you to my private group on Facebook where you can come to get positive inspiration for your life. Search A Life Designed in the facebook search bar.
Now let’s Dive IN and talk about …
How to Increase Your Happiness with Gratitude
By default, so many of us are constantly scanning the world for problems. Things that are wrong. Things that need fixing. Things that should be different. Things we don’t like.
But you know what the problem with this approach to life is?
It leads to depression, anxiety, poor health and buffering with addictions, like food and alcohol.
I don’t think any of us intend to live this way, so why does it happen? I’d love to explain it to you!
Have you ever heard of the famous psychology experiment where you watch a video and are asked to count how many times the people in white shirts pass the basketball? About 25 seconds into the video a person in a gorilla costume walks right through the middle of the shot. He is on the screen for a full 5 seconds as the people pass the ball.
Afterward viewers are asked to write down how many passes they counted from the team in white. Then they ask, did you see anything unusual in the video? Did you see anyone in the video besides the basketball players?
In a study of 200 people, 46% completely missed the gorilla. Nearly half!
How could that be? It’s something called inattentional blindness. It’s when we miss what is right in front of us, because we are focused on something else.
So, in the experiment, participants are so focused on the players in white shirts passing the ball, that they somehow don’t see the gorilla!
On the flip side of this is something called selective perception. This is when we ARE looking for something and we see it everywhere! You’ve probably experienced this many times in your life with songs on the radio or cars on the road.
Right! Have you ever noticed after you buy a certain make and model of a car, you see it everywhere.
So, this is good news. This means that we can all work to train our brains to see the positive! We do this through through the practice of gratitude.
Research proves that a gratitude practice has many benefits:
The benefits of gratitude:
Here’s the research to back it up.
In one study, two psychologists gathered three groups of participants. All participants were asked to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.
One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week.
A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them.
And the third wrote about events that had affected them with no emphasis on them being positive or negative.
After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives.
Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
There’s another study I’d like to share with you. It was conducted by Martin Seligman, who is the father of positive psychology. In this one, participants wrote down three good things that happened to them each day for a week.
After just one week, the participants reported feeling happier.
The researchers followed up with the study participants, and checked their happiness levels over time. And found they continued to get happier by the week. Even up until six months later.
And what is even more amazing is that even after stopping the exercise, these people remained happier.
This is because they trained their brain to get better and better at looking for the positive things in their life.
So, now that you know there is scientific research to prove that having a gratitude practice will help you, let’s talk about different ways to practice gratitude.
There are many ways to practice gratitude:
Keep in mind that it’s most helpful to practice gratitude daily so your brain gets used to looking for the good.
Another tip I’d like to share is that the things you write down can be brief.
And they don’t have to be huge or significant. They can be as simple as how your daughter hugged you this morning. Or how that guy in traffic that let you in on the way to work. Or that fabulous dinner your significant other made for you.
It makes no difference if your gratitude comes from something big or small. It just matters that you can see it!
I’d like to share a 5-minute journaling practice with you that incorporates gratitude and will help you feel better from any circumstance that is troubling you right now.
Start by venting out whatever is bothering you. Write down every thought and feeling you are having about it. Get it out.
Next, decide how you want to feel about this situation. Perhaps you want to feel peaceful or energetic or confident.
The third thing to do is to write about what you have to be grateful for with regard to this situation. This might be a little tough, but you can do it! Even in the most difficult of circumstances, there are things that we can find to be grateful for. So, write them down.
The final step is to decide on one action you can take that will help you feel the way you said you wanted to feel in your intention.
So, for example, if you want to feel peaceful, what could you do to create that peace for yourself. If you said you want to feel energetic, what could you do to create that?
The result of this process is that you have taken the control back from whatever situation was causing you trouble. And the beautiful thing is that you used gratitude to achieve it!
So that’s what I have for you today. I know that this is easier said than done, so reach out to me if you need help. I would love to help you.
Thank you so much for listening in. Please let me know if you have any specific questions.
Remember! Download your free guide Daily Gratitude Journal. I will put the link for you to download it in the show notes. And join us in the Life Designed community on Facebook.
Thank you! See you next week!