Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Time for Gratitude as 2012 rolls over to 2013

It's been a difficult year for many, if not most of us, in this country. Emotions are raw but we soldier on, because that's what we do. If you've had a tough year, it may be beneficial to start or return to your gratitude journal. There's much research showing the benefits of this technique. Here are five tips to encourage you to give it a try.

  • Don’t just go through the motions. Research by psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky and others suggests that journaling is more effective if you first make the conscious decision to become happier and more grateful. “Motivation to become happier plays a role in the efficacy of journaling,” says Emmons.
  • Go for depth over breadth. Elaborating in detail about a particular thing for which you’re grateful carries more benefits than a superficial list of many things.
  • Get personal. Focusing on people to whom you are grateful has more of an impact than focusing on things for which you are grateful.
  • Try subtraction, not just addition. One effective way of stimulating gratitude is to reflect on what your life would be like without certain blessings, rather than just tallying up all those good things.
  • Savor surprises. Try to record events that were unexpected or surprising, as these tend to elicit stronger levels of gratitude.
  • Don’t overdo it.

These tips are excerpted from  Greater Good at UC Berkeley --Read more here..

Best regards for 2013.

Helen Gallagher

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