Gratitude Is NOT Gratification

As I have muted several times in the past, gratification is the world we live in. Everyone wants something and they want it now. They believe it will make them happy and believe it will change their lives. Sure it might do for an instant. That latest piece of retail therapy might make you feel good for a moment.

But they are not fulfilling. They are shallow and empty.

If we really want to be happy, we need to be grateful because when we are grateful we are happy with our lot. When we are happy with our lot then life is so much better for the soul, the mind and the body.

A happiness researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky believes that gratitude is one of the things the happiest people on Earth all share “Gratitude is arguably the king of happiness” And what does the research say? “The more a person is inclined to gratitude, the less likely he or she is to be depressed, anxious, lonely, envious, or neurotic.
Therefore gratitude is one of the most scientifically validated ways to increase happiness”

There are now even courses on finding ways to improve your gratitude with something called “Gratitude Works!” which is a 21-Day Program for creating emotional prosperity.

Gratitude has one of the strongest links to mental health and satisfaction with life of any personality trait—more so than even optimism, hope, or compassion. It is thought that grateful people experience higher levels of positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, and love. Gratitude can also protect us from the destructive impulses of envy, resentment and greed.  Because of this, it is believed that people who experience gratitude can cope more effectively with everyday stress, recover more quickly from illness, and because health and wellbeing are intrinsically linked to the mental state they also enjoy better physical health.

But, you can’t feel crazily grateful to be alive your whole life any more than you can stay passionately in love forever. Time takes it’s toll, human nature takes over and complacency creeps in as we get back to the day to day of living.

Yes, we all have moments of gratitude. The question is though how can we stay grateful and happy all the time?
Well, what we need to do is build gratitude into our daily routine instead of simply reacting when something good happens to us then letting the feeling go until something  else comes along to give us the feeling once again.

So how can you possibly keep the feeling long term?

Counting Your Blessings

University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman offers this technique:
Every night of the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three things that went well today and why they went well…Writing about why the positive events in your life happened may seem awkward at first, but you must stick with it. As it gets easier the odds are that you will be less depressed, happier and addicted to this exercise six months from now.

Absence Of A Blessing

Research shows that when you imagine that an important positive event in your life never happened, it can make you appreciate it more, making you grateful — and happier. For example, thinking about the absence of something positive in your life produces more gratitude and happiness than imagining its presence. By taking something away in our minds, we become more aware of benefits that we still have but previously took for granted as in mentally subtracting something good from your life can make you more grateful for it.
Harvard professor Mike Norton, author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending explains that taking a break from something you love and “making it a treat” can boost appreciation and happiness. It can be something as simple as loving to have a coffee every day. When you don’t have it for a few days it makes it more amazing than all of the ones that you would have had in the meantime.

Thinking About The Bad Can Be Very Good

Sometimes even when bad things happen they can ultimately have positive consequences and become things we become grateful for. Think about an event that occurred in the past that started badly but by facing up to it and dealing with it has benefited you as a person. These events make you grow and help you to appreciate the truly important people and things in your life because without them we are nothing.

Finally we have something called The Gratitude Visit

This is where you show your gratitude to another person either by writing them a letter, a well thought out thank you card or actually sitting with the person face to face and telling them exactly how thankful you are for what they have done or how they have treated you.

This kind of behaviour can end conflict with a loved one or employers and at the same time make you feel so much better for showing that you appreciate things thus giving you your feeling of gratitude.

I know this post was a little left-field but it really did make me think.

Don’t forget, it’s not that happy people are grateful, it’s that grateful people are happy.

FOOD DIARY: Thursday 13th August 2015

Qty Measure Food Calories (gr) Protein (gr) Carbs (gr) Fat (gr)
Breakfast  1 45gms Waitress Seriously Nutty Cereal  172  3.7  28.4  3.9
 2  42gms  Seeded Rye Bread  160  5.8  29.9  2
 1  75mls  Semi Skimmed Milk  37.5  2.7  1.4  3.1
Lunch  1 Small Bowl Garlic Prawn and Quinoa Salad.  198  25  13 7.9
Dinner  2 Mini Muffins Egg, Cottage Cheese and Ham Muffins 260  36 8  8
 1  83gms  BBQ Smoked Salmon  143  16.9 0  8.3
 1 80gms  Wholegrain Rice  101.6  2.24  18.6  1.68
Snacks 1 175mls  Phd Diet Whey Protein.  91 17 2.75 1.4
 2  400mls  Tea  11.8  0  0.8  0
Totals  1174.9  109.34  102.85  37.28
Water 2  500mls  Mineral Water  0  0  0  0

Food wise we were quite good with a second salad in a week gracing my table. Breakfast may have been a touch carbohydrate heavy but I was feeling food lazy when I got up and figured the cereal and slice of toast were the way to go. Still on track so still happy with everything even if there is the occasional blip like a fruit tart with cream (Wednesdays menu!)

Yesterday my training got changed up a bit with the introduction of Body Balance. I honestly thought that I would do this hour long session where we mix Yoga with Tai Chi and Pilates and afterward I would go back into the gym and do my workout. Well that didn’t happen. I was battered and could not even consider going to the gym without a rest.

To that end, I went home, ate my lunch for a little fuel in the system then rested for an hour. I returned to the gym later in the afternoon but found that after 5 minutes on the exercise bike I was completely pooped with lead in my legs and thus felt it sensible to leave the exercise where it was for the day lest I ruin myself once again and do more damage to my regime when it appears to be starting to work.

As you know because the Jawbone broke I have not posted an steps screen shots. Today there was no walk which means no Map My Walk screenshots and because II never made it to the gym for the usual regime there is also no Polar H7 monitor screen shots so apologies all round for this of you who like them. However, you can sleep easy safe in the knowledge that I have replaced my Jawbone with the newer model so hopefully we shall soon have a return to the normal state of play.

‘Till tomorrow,

Stay out of the fridge.

Todays blog is based on a piece I read on a site known as Barking Up The Wrong Tree. I have edited it, rewritten parts and used some quotes and information directly although the principal work is my own.

6 thoughts on “Gratitude Is NOT Gratification

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