Positive Psychology Intervention – Gratitude

gratitude

Welcome to this Intervention on Gratitude

Hello again and I really hoped you loved our last intervention on Mindfulness. I love the topic we are discussing today and that’s Gratitude.

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich”
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

gratitude You have probably recognized by now that I talk about Martin Seligman quite a bit. This is because this man has made a great impact on my life and one of my Mentors.

Martin Seligman and his colleagues tested the well-being benefits of expressing gratitude in a way where people from all over had to send out a letter to a person who had impacted their life in some way, whether it being big or small.

The exercise was to be done in a period of one week.

Website instructions were given to people from all walks of life and once they had written their letter they were to deliver them by hand to the recipient.

Is was important that they wrote the letter to someone whom they had never really thanked or appreciated in the right way.  In other conditions, participants were offered alternative self-guided happiness exercises.  Those participants who did gratitude visits showed the largest boosts in the entire study – that is,

Along with some self-guided happiness exercises, the participants who completed the gratitude visits showed the largest boosts in happiness over the entire study.

These people were immediately much happier and feeling less depressed. This feeling lasted easily up to a month after the exercise was completed.

Martin and his team’s findings revealed just how powerful it is to express your gratitude directly to a person who has greatly impacted your life.

You yourself can easily implement these actions into your daily life on a regular basis. For some even writing down what or who you are grateful for in diary or journal can help immensely.

Have you ever considered taking a journal wherever you go? This is not only a great idea to write what you are grateful for but also to jot down and record any ideas you may get throughout the day!

Gratitude really is the feeling of appreciation or thanks

 

gratitude

Your Intervention Exercise on Gratitude for Today

 Your first step for this exercise to take a little time to sit down and think about some things you are grateful for in your life. This can be anything from waking up in a warm home and having a roof over your head to something bigger and much more extraordinary.

Life is busy for most of us and the hardest thing most people struggle with is making the time, but how about just thinking about these things over your morning coffee.

To find some prompts, think of these 4 things:

  • What touched me today?
  • Who or what inspired me today?
  • What made me smile today?
  • What’s the best thing that happened today?

Here are some ideas of just the little things most people take for granted throughout their busy days.

  • Your daily meals and the people who prepared the food
  • Our 5 senses we take for granted, think of the people who have no sight or hearing etc
  • Thinking of the Author that sat down for hours on end writing your favourite book for your enjoyment
  • The music or podcasts you tune into every day without even thinking of the work that went behind it
  • The blessing of your family, your partner, your children who are probably all healthy including yourself
  • Maybe you are employed and have a dream job with a great income that provides for you and your family
  • Technology you may have around you at your fingertips to use at your disposal

What I would really like you to do is to take a notebook or perhaps purchase a dedicated journal and start a habit of writing things down that come to mind, whether big or small.

I want you to pick at least ONE idea from this following list and apply it:

  1. Write a letter, note or card to someone that impacted your life in some way and mail it to them
  2. You could perhaps take your gratitude letter one step further by visiting the person and reading the letter out in person
  3. Create a Gratitude Jar. Take a simple large jar, decorate if you want and sit this on the kitchen counter. Get your whole family to play along and each day for one week drop a note inside the jar writing what you are grateful for that day. At the end of the week, sit down as a family and read all the notes together.
  4. A little more of an investment but worth it, purchase a charm bracelet (or you may have one at home) and add certain charms that signify things that you are grateful for in your life. Every time you wear your bracelet and see your charms you’ll be constantly reminded of the things you are grateful for in your life.
  5. Take a gratitude walk, not only will you breathe in fresh air but take a chance to ‘smell the roses’ so to speak. Appreciate your surroundings, take note of the flowers, trees, nature in general and go out of your way to smile at a stranger.
  6. A very cheap idea that I learned some time ago, take a small smooth rock from your garden (small) and place it in your pocket or handbag. Every time you go to your pocket or bag and see the rock you have to think of something you are grateful for. This is called a gratitude trigger, could even be an object in your house.
  7. Find a gratitude partner, this could be a spouse, good friend, child or relative. Play a gratitude game and bounce ideas off one another. This is a great exercise to incorporate into night prayers with your children.
  8. Consider lending a friend one of your favourite books, take them to see your favorite movie or share a meal with them. Not only will this strengthen your friendship but make you feel good too.

Well, I think you have more than enough ideas here to choose from. I really implore you to take this gratitude exercise and really try to make it become a habit in your daily life, you won’t believe how much it will help you see life in a new light!

 

 

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About Francesco

Francesco was born and raised in Italy where he studied Law at the prestigious University of Naples. As a thinker, he enjoys problem-solving, being creative, and experimenting with new ideas. For ten years he travelled the world seeking knowledge and life experiences. He has lived in the UK and in South-East Asia and finally settled in Melbourne, Australia. Francesco completed his degree in Psychology and his Master's degree in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP). Francesco is happiest when helping peple achieve a better life.

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1 Comment

  1. Lisa August 24, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Wow, really love this especially the idea about the Gratitude Jar. I’m definitely going to try this with my kids this week, thanks for the great post 🙂

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