It’s a given that Thanksgiving and being grateful go together.
But in Thanks! How the new science of gratitude can make you happier, Robert A. Emmons goes beyond the commonplace notions on gratitude.
• Gratitude is acknowledging the help someone else has given us.
• In spite of the difficulty and frustration we may experience in our writing or the pain and suffering we may see in the world, gratitude acknowledges that there is decency and goodness in the world.
Cultivating gratitude can make for major changes for the better in your life.
Since we can resist doing something that’s good for us, like practicing gratitude, Emmons gives us “evidence-based prescriptions” that will help us cultivate gratitude.
In future posts, I’ll add to this list of prescriptions. For now, here are three that Emmons suggests:
1. Remind yourself daily of what has come your way and given you pleasure. Keep a daily journal.
2. Remind yourself of how much worse life could be or has been in the past. What you have is better than that!
3. Partner up for accountability– gratitude won’t be easy to maintain.
Reminder: We can more easily tap into our creativity and then maintain focus when we are in a pleasant or mildly happy mood. A grateful mindset improves your mood and blocks self-sabotaging emotions.
More to come on gratitude.