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10 Ways Gratitude Can Change Your Life & 4 Step Gratitude Plan

10 Ways Gratitude Can Change Your Life & 4 Step Gratitude Plan
Gratitude can motivate others, increase self-control, build social ties and more…plus 4-step gratitude plan. Gratitude is the new miracle emotion. Although gratitude has been around for as long as human beings, it’s only recently started to get the big thumbs-up from science. So here are 10 ways gratitude can change your life, followed by a quick 4-step plan to help maximise your own gratitude, whatever level you start from. There’s even a trick for those suffering from ‘gratitude burnout’. 1. Gratitude is different things to different people: amongst them could be counting your blessings, savouring what life has given you, thanking someone or wondering at the natural world. Whatever form it takes, one of the best known and most researched effects of practicing gratitude is it makes you happier. Participants in one study were 25% happier, on average, after practicing a little gratitude over a 10-week period. 2. Gratitude isn’t just about feeling better, it’s also about thinking better. 3. 4. Related:  The Neuroscience of EmotionsGenerating Positive EmotionsGratitude

Like it Or Not, Emotions Will Drive the Decisions You Make Today Your emotions will drive the decisions you make today, and your success may depend upon your ability to understand and interpret them. When an emotion is triggered in your brain, your nervous systems responds by creating feelings in your body (what many people refer to as a "gut feeling") and certain thoughts in your mind. A great deal of your decisions are informed by your emotional responses because that is what emotions are designed to do: to appraise and summarize an experience and inform your actions. But if an emotion is triggered, just how much should you pay attention to your visceral response and the thoughts it creates? Emotions are not particularly sophisticated or precise, but their speed and utility make up for what they lack in sophistication and precision. Emotions, when they are not disordered, provide information about your circumstances in a simple, quick way that does not involve a lot of cognition (thinking about it). Emotions have tremendous action potential.

Use This Simple Daily Habit to Add More Gratitude to Your Life I have a simple gratitude habit that I have been following nearly every day for three years. I want to share it with you here. First, let me set the stage. The Minor Tragedy The other day I ordered takeout from one of my favorite Indian restaurants for dinner. We picked up the food and drove home, but when we opened the bag we realized that the restaurant had forgotten to include one of the main dishes from our order. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal. I wasn’t going anywhere later that night, so I volunteered to drive back to the restuarant and pick up the missing food while everyone else packed their bags for their trip. So, this was the mood in the room–frustrated, rushed, and stressed–when our simple gratitude habit came to the rescue. The Daily Gratitude Habit The habit is super simple. When I sit down to eat dinner, I say one thing that I am grateful for happening today. Everyone else contributed their own grateful moment from the day. Why It Works Practicing Gratitude

3 Ways Your Mind Can Give You A Healthier Heart Healthier hearts aren’t just about diet and exercise, the mind can help too. Being grateful helps patients recover from heart failure, a new study finds. On top, two previous studies have found that optimistic people have healthier hearts and that a strong sense of purpose may lower heart disease risk. In the new study, Dr Paul J. Mills and colleagues studied how gratefulness affected people suffering from asymptomatic heart failure. He said: “We found that more gratitude in these patients was associated with better mood, better sleep, less fatigue and lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers related to cardiac health.” The study looked at people who had developed a heart problem — like having a heart attack — but who did not have other typical symptoms (shortness of breath or fatigue). The researchers wanted to see what could help them avoid getting worse. Once heart disease develops symptoms, the chances of death are five times higher. Dr Mills said: Dr Mills explained the results:

Hardwiring Happiness Rick Hanson is a master of his craft, showing us a wise path for daily living in this book. Based in the latest findings of neuroscience, this book reveals that if we understand the brain a little, we can take care of our lives a lot, and make a real difference to our well-being. Here is a book to savor, to practice, and to take to heart. –Mark Williams, Ph.D., Professor, University of Oxford, author of Mindfulness The cultivation of happiness is one of the most important skills anyone can ever learn. In this remarkable book, one of the world’s leading authorities on mind training shows how to cultivate the helpful and good within us. Rick Hanson’s new book works practical magic: it teaches you how, in a few seconds, to rewire your brain for greater happiness, peace, and well-being. I have learned more about positive psychology from Rick Hanson than from any other scientist. Truly helpful and wise, this book nourishes your practical goodness and feeds the vitality of your human spirit.

Emotional Wiring Different in Men and Women Men and women are actually from the same planet, but scientists now have the first strong evidence that the emotional wiring of the sexes is fundamentally different. An almond-shaped cluster of neurons that processes experiences such as fear and aggression hooks up to contrasting brain functions in men and women at rest, the new research shows. For men, the cluster "talks with" brain regions that help them respond to sensors for what's going on outside the body, such as the visual cortex and an area that coordinates motor actions. For women, the cluster communicates with brain regions that help them respond to sensors inside the body, such as the insular cortex and hypothalamus. These areas tune in to and regulate women's hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and respiration. Cahill and his co-author Lisa Kilpatrick, scanned the brains of 36 healthy men and 36 healthy women. Scientists still have to find out if one's sex also affects the wiring of other regions of the brain.

Authentic Happiness | Authentic Happiness Give a Power Boost to Your Gratitude Practice In Uncovering Happiness I talk about how the #1 bad habit that most people have can be surprising – our thinking. Before we fall into procrastination, stress eating, isolating, habitually engaging our Smartphones or any other addictive behavior there’s a thought. The thought is something like, I need to get away from something uncomfortable that’s here or at times, I want to elate the good feeling that’s here. One of the most powerful ways I have found to change the atmosphere of the mind is a very simple gratitude practice (but with a power boost). Now, before your eyes roll you need to know this, thoughts may be arising in your mind right now such as, “not this gratitude stuff again, I’ve read this in a thousand places.” The answer is most likely that it inclines you away from it. If we all know it’s a supportive practice, why does the mind do this? We need to break free from this mind trap and engage bottom-up processing, seeing this gratitude practice with fresh eyes. Warmly,

Dr. Rick Hanson - Discover the Simple Method to More Joy &Less Stress posted on: February 1st, 2013 Wishing well? The Practice: Bless. Why? Lately, I’ve been wondering what would be on my personal list of top five practices (all tied for first place). In these JOTs, so far I’ve written about two of my top practices: Meditate – Mindfulness, training attention, contemplation, concentration, absorption, non-ordinary consciousness, liberating insightTake in the good (in three chapters excerpted from my book, Just One Thing) – Recognize the brain’s negativity bias (Velcro for the bad, Teflon for the good), see good facts in the world and in yourself, be intimate with your experience, have and enrich and absorb positive experiences (turning mental states into neural traits, good moments into a great brain), let positive soothe and replace negative My third practice is bless, which means see what’s tender and beautiful, and wish well. Blessing is obviously good for others and the world, and that’s plenty reason to offer it. How? Do blessing deliberately.

The Neuroscience of Self-Esteem, Self-Criticism and Self-Compassion All the emphasis on self-esteem building in recent decades has done little to instruct people on what to do when they hit a bump in the road. Most of us, research shows, unleash our inner critic – even if the hardship is brought on by age, illness or another inevitable part of life. Recently, scientists such as Paul Gilbert of Kingsway Hospital in the United Kingdom and Kristin Neff of the University of Texas at Austin, have suggested being self-compassionate, rather than self-critical, especially in rough times, is more likely to help us rebound and may lead to greater success and happiness in the long run. This is not just semantics or new-age feel-good fluff. Gilbert associates self-esteem, self-criticism and self-compassion with three interacting emotional systems in the brain, each with their own evolutionary purpose and mediating neurotransmitters. The "drive" system The threat-protection system For many of us, these first two systems dominate. The mammalian care-giving system

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