sow gratitude, reap your superhuman self

by Josh

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Gratitude might just be the most underappreciated emotion we have.
Cultivating feelings of gratitude can:
Boost the immune system, lower your blood pressure and improve your sleep.
It decreases feelings of loneliness and depression.
If expressed often in relationships, gratitude can help improve these relationships by increasing compassion, prosocial motivation and the willingness to forgive.
And last but not least, it is one of the brain-tweaks presented by this guy, to make you happy-successful.

Stoics like Lucius Annaeus Seneca used negative visualization. In negative visualization you picture, as vividly as possible, all the things that could go wrong (in health, your work, your relationships, etc.).
For example, imagine that you wake up tomorrow, but when you open your eyes, you can’t see. Your eyes have ceased working.
Now that would be pretty shit wouldn’t it?
What it does though, is create an instant strong feeling of gratitude for the fact that you possess a working set of (absolutely stunning) eyes.

Another way of cultivating gratitude is to make a conscious effort to look for and either write down or talk about the things you are grateful for.
Currently, I am writing down three things I am grateful for every night before I go to bed.
Also, I ask others about three things that they are grateful for today.
Not only does this give you the benefits of gratitude, but it also spreads them throughout your social networks.

You don’t have to have big, fancy items on your lists.
Keep it simple.
Practicing gratitude might be most important when you feel like there is nothing to be grateful for.

Sources:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2011/November/in-praise-of-gratitude
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_gratitude_is_good/
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/pdfs/GratitudePDFs/2Wood-GratitudeWell-BeingReview.pdf

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