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Gratitude in the Wild: See What Is

In this episode, we're talking about the element of Gratitude. There's a ton of research on gratitude and how powerful it can be for mental health. We'll talk about a really helpful step-by-step strategy that can be used to keep gratitude alive, even during tough times. We'll talk about the first of these strategies, "See what is" in this episode and follow up with two more episodes for the rest ("Accept what is" and "Choose wisely"). Seeing, accepting, and choosing may sound a little dull, but you'll likely be surprised how this process can boost present moment awareness and gratitude in big ways. 

p.s. We're grateful you're here with us at the Joy Lab! 

 

Watch this episode on YouTube.

 

Key Takeaways (see full transcript below):

  • In this episode, we're focusing on seeing things as they really are and bringing more attention to the good things that exist, no matter the situation. 
  • It can be hard to practice gratitude amidst the knowledge that we'll also feel the pain of losing those people or things in time. However, as we practice gratitude and our other elements of joy, that knowledge of impermanence (AKA everything changes) can shift from an obstacle to fuel for gratitude.
  • A daily practice of gratitude is a powerful tool to reduce depression. Even simple practices, as short as 3 minutes, can have significant, positive impacts on mood.
  • Optimists and pessimists aren't so different... they can access gratitude equally. 
  • We like to think of the negativity bias as a survival bias. If you fall into this category, you're an excellent surveiller of your environment! That's a good evolutionary trait. Of course, too much can turn into chronic worrying, anxiety, and other behaviors. We'll talk about how to quiet that surveillance when it's not needed and how gratitude can help. 

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