In what follows, based on the above research results, I would like to introduce you to several exercises with which you can practice gratitude and increase your level of happiness and life satisfaction.
Exercise: Diary of Gratitude
Once a week (say Sunday evening), take a few minutes to write down at least five things you are grateful for in your life (overall or with a focus on the past week). Answer the following two questions about these things:
- Why am I so grateful for that?
- What can I do to find out more about it, or until the situation occurs more often or understands it more often?
Sonja Lyubomirsky has also done research in this area. It also confirmed the powerful effects of this short exercise. The participants’ feelings of happiness increased significantly as a result of the gratitude notes (the study lasted six weeks). However, there was also another important finding. She had one group doing the exercise once a week and the other group doing the exercise 3 times a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays) for six weeks. It only managed to demonstrate the positive effect in the group that did the gratitude exercise only once a week. The authors believe that participants found that the exercise was a chore several times a week and that this routine was no longer effective .
Based on this research, I recommend that you exercise once a week for the long term. For many, it has proven helpful to start each day (preferably in the evening, for example always before brushing your teeth) and write down what you are grateful for today. These can be very small things (the lovely purple flower on the way to work) or very large things (the birth of my baby). If you feel it has become a routine, change the frequency to weekly. However, I know many who find it much easier to perform such rituals daily than to think about them several times a week or once a week. Find the beat here.
In any case, it is not important to work with a scheme. It is important that you feel grateful for the positive aspects and the many great things that you take for granted in your life and anchor this in your life with the help of this frequent exercise. Maybe at some point you’ll get to the point where you think about your life in general: Wow, my life is really blessed!
I want to tell you about another experience of mine. When I read about these studies at the time and started with gratitude notes, I discovered in myself the ability to feel grateful for what is now in a short, quiet minute of the day. Then he realized things that I hadn’t noticed before. It was funny z. For example, the moment I stood barefoot in the bathroom on a cold winter morning, right after waking up and I was still a little tired. In fact, I didn’t think of anything sleepy when I suddenly noticed, with real gratitude, the warmth on my feet from the underfloor heating. Then came the next thought, “Good morning, the gratitude exercise seems to be working!” I highly recommend this exercise. It has brought me an intense attitude to life and a great atmosphere of life and I don’t want to miss this exercise anymore. It’s very simple, takes very little time and has a huge impact.
Exercise: Thank you letter
Think about who has done you well in the past few years or who has always been there for you. Then write a letter to that person you are grateful for. Studies have shown that it suffices to write a quarter of an hour a week on the letter for several weeks. As it turns out, just writing this letter is enough to visibly increase the feeling of happiness. The letter does not necessarily have to be sent .
Here, too, it is not a matter of strictly following the instructions. You can adapt the exercise to your position. Turning the exercise into a visit of gratitude as in the study outlined above is a powerful stretch, but it should be appropriate for the people involved. .
Unfortunately, the snippet ends at this point. The book covers the rest of the chapter and more about joy in life, contentment and happiness.
- Lyubomirsky, S. (2013). Be happy. Why is it in your hands to live happily. Frankfurt am Main: campus.
- Emmons RA, und Shelton CM (2002): Gratitude and the science of positive psychology. In: CR Snyder und SJ Lopez (Hrsg.), Handbook of Positive Psychology (S. 459-471). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Emmons, RA & McCullough, ME (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in everyday life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 377-389.
- Seligman, MEP, Steen, TA, Park, N, and Peterson, C. (2005). Positive Psychology Advance. Experimental validation of the interventions. American Psychologist, 60 (5), 410-421
- Emmons, RA, & Mishra, A. (2012). Why Gratitude Promotes Well-Being: What We Know, What We Need to Know (248-262). In Sheldon, K., Kashdan, T., & Steger, MF (Hrsg.) Designing the Future of Positive Psychology: An Assessment and a Way Forward. New York: Oxford University Press.
- McCullough, MI, Emmons, R.A., and Tsang, J. (2002). Acting with Gratitude: A Conceptual and Experimental Topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82 (1), 112-127.
- Haas, or. (2015). Company happiness as a management system: Happy people love to achieve more. Berlin: Eric Schmidt Verlag.
- Lyubomirsky, S. (2013). Be happy. Why is it in your hands to live happily. Frankfurt am Main: campus. Pp. 100 ff
- Daniela Bleschan (2015) mentioned in her book, Positive Psychology. A handbook for practice “on the fact that German seminar participants react cautiously or negatively to the suggestion of a gratitude visit, because the exercise is too“ American ”to them. In fact, the original also recommends encapsulating crafts. If the visitor never acts in this way, the procedure may also lead to suspicion and irritation or in the worst case, if the visitor knows the exercise, he may feel accustomed to the increased well-being of the other.
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