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Four Great Gratitude Strategies

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/four_great_gratitude_strategies

greatergood.berkeley.edu

Four Great Gratitude Strategies
Over the past two decades, much of the research on happiness can be boiled down to one main prescription: give thanks. Across hundreds of studies, practicing gratitude has been found to increase positive emotions, reduce the risk of depression, heighten relationship satisfaction, and increase resilience in the face of stressful life events, among other benefits.

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Count your blessings

Count your blessings

Spend 5 to 10 minutes at the end of each day writing in detail about three things that went well that day, large or small, and also describing why you think they happened.

This simple practice is effective because it not only helps you remember and appreciate good things that happened in the past; it can also teach you to notice and savor positive events as they happen.

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Mental subtraction

You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone. 

Consider the many ways in which important, positive events in your life—such as a job opportunity or educational achievement—could have never taken place, and then reflecting on what your life would be like without them.

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Savor

We have a tendency to adapt to pleasurable things—a phenomenon called “hedonic adaptation”—and appreciate them less and less over time. 

We can interrupt this process by trying the Give it Up practice, which requires temporarily giving up pleasurable activities and then coming back to them later, this time with greater anticipation and excitement.

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Say “thank you”

Say “thank you”

Gratitude can be especially powerful when it’s expressed to others. 

If there is anyone in your life to whom you feel you’ve never properly expressed your gratitude, writing a thoughtful, detailed Gratitude Letter is a great way to increase your own feelings of gratitude and happiness while also making the other person feel appreciated and valued; it may also deepen your relationship with them.

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Gratitude journaling

The practice involves writing down things for which you are grateful. Researchers say it is more impactful to write in detail about one particular thing than to jot down a superficial list of things.

Writing once or twice a week is better for your well-being than doing it every day. It is because we adapt to positive events quickly, especially if we always focus on them.

Gratitude letters and visits

Write a letter of gratitude to someone, even if you never send the message. The positive effects this has on the brain can last for months.

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Reframe or divert

The first step in approaching a negative situation with an optimistic outlook is to accept what you can’t change.

Once you’ve done that, you have 2 options: reframe ( look ...

Savor the good

Noticing and savoring the pleasant moments and thinking, "Wow, this is really great "can strengthen positive emotions.

In general, we tend to dwell on the negative side and not notice the positive things we experience.

Set reminders

Write yourself a message on a sticky note and attach it to your computer screen at work (an inspirational quote, a reminder to smile, etc).

Small reminders like these help keep positivity front and center in your life.

Appreciate everything

The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.

Find gratitude in your challenges

Gratitude is not only about being thankful for positive experiences. Sometimes thinking about negative or difficult situations can help to really nail down what you have to be thankful for.

Dig a little deeper into some of your own past experiences and try to figure out how they have helped shape you into the person you are today.

Practice mindfulness

Sit down daily and think through five to ten things you are grateful for. 

Picture it in your mind and sit with that feeling of gratitude in your body. Doing this every day will rewire your brain to be naturally more grateful, and you’ll start feeling happier after every session.