In the following, based on the above mentioned research results, I would like to introduce you to several exercises with which you can practice gratitude and increase your level of enjoyment and satisfaction of life.
Exercise: Gratitude Diary
Once a week (Sunday evening, for example), take a few minutes to write down at least five things that you are grateful for in your life (with a focus on the general or final week). Answer the following two more questions about these things:
- Why am I grateful to him?
- What can I do so that I know more about it or so that the situation occurs more often or I feel it more often?
Sonja Hunomirski also did research in this area. He also confirmed the powerful effects of this short exercise. As a result of the gratitude diary (study lasted for six weeks), the participants’ sense of happiness increased significantly. However, there was another important result. He told one group to exercise once a week and the other group to exercise 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) for six weeks. She can only prove positive influence in the group who only showed gratitude once a week. The authors suspect that participants exercised several times a week and found that this routine was no longer effective .
Based on this research, I recommend that you exercise once a week in the long term. For many, it proved useful to start every day (preferably in the evening, always before brushing your teeth) and write what you are thankful for today. These can be very small things (beautiful purple flowers on the way to work) or very large things (the birth of my baby). If you think this is becoming a routine, change the frequency of the weekly. However, I know of many people who find it very easy to do this kind of ritual daily, about it several times a week or once a week. Find the rhythm you are getting here.
In any case, it is not important to work through the schema. It is important that you feel gratitude for the positive aspects and many great things you have to offer in your life and with the help of this recurring practice, you incorporate it into your life. Maybe at some point you will even get to the point where you think about your life in general: Wow, my life is really blessed!
I want to tell you one more experience of mine. When I read about these studies at the time and started with the Gratitude Diary, I discovered in myself the ability to feel gratitude for what I was now in a short, quiet minute during the day. Then I realize things that I would not have seen before. Was fun z. E.g. The moment when I was standing barefoot in the bathroom on a chilly morning, right after getting up and still exhausted. In fact, I was not thinking anything when sleep suddenly, with genuine gratitude, I saw a comfortable warmth on my feet from underfloor heating. Then came the next thought, “Good morning, thankfulness exercise is working!” I highly recommend this practice. It brought me a deeper approach to life and the amazing joie de vivre and I no longer want to miss the practice. It is so simple, takes so little time and has such a grand impact.
Exercise: thank you letter
Think about who has done good to you over the years or who has always been there for you. Then write a letter to the person you are grateful for. Studies have shown that writing a quarter of an hour on a letter is sufficient for several weeks. It has also been learned that just writing this letter is enough to increase the feeling of happiness. Letter not necessarily to be sent .
Here, it is also not about strictly following the guidelines. You can adjust the exercise to your position. Turning practice into a gratitude journey as described in the study above is a strong extension, but should be appropriate for those involved .
Unfortunately, the excerpt ends at this point. The book contains the rest of the chapter and more about joie de vivre, contentment, and happiness.
- Kongomirski, S. (2013). Be happy. Why is living happily in your hands? Frankfurt am Main: Campus.
- Emmons, RA, und Shelton, CM (2002): The Science of Gratitude and Positive Psychology. In: CR Snyder und SJ Lopez (Hrsg.), Handbook of positive psychology (S. 459–471). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Emmons, RA and McCulf, ME (2003). Blessing versus burden calculation: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 377–389.
- Seligman, MEP, Stein, T.A., Park, N., & Peterson, C.. (2005). Positive Psychology Progress. Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60 (5), 410–421.
- Emmons, RA, & Mishra, A (2012). Why Gratitude Enhances Goodness: What We Know, What We Need to Know (248–262). In Sheldon, K., Kashdan, T., & Steger, M.F. (Hersg.) Designing the future of positive psychology: Taking stock and moving forward. New York, Oxford University Press.
- McCool, ME, Emmons, RA, & Tsang, J (2002). Grateful disposition: an ideological and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82 (1), 112–127.
- Haas, o. (2015). Corporate happiness as a management system: Happy people like to get more. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag.
- Kongomirski, S. (2013). Be happy. Why is living happily in your hands? Frankfurt am Main: Campus. P. 100ff
- Daniela Blichon (2015) reported in her book »Positive Psychology. A handbook for exercise «about the fact that German seminar participants reacted cautiously or negatively to the suggestion of taking a gratitude trip, because the exercise is too” American “for them. In fact, the original version also recommends laminating the letter. If the visitor never behaves this way, the process can also trigger suspicion and irritation, or in the worst case, if the visitor knows the exercise, he or she can use it to enhance the other’s well-being.