"Gratitude is a way of seeing that alters our gaze."
"Gratitude enables a person to feel good and also to do good."
The grateful state of mind, as accessible as it is, can be fleeting, difficult to sustain over the long haul unless practiced with attention and intention. So we need to immerse ourselves in practices and techniques that will foster gratitude every day.
Living gratefully begins with affirming the good and recognizing its sources. It is the understanding that life owes me nothing and all the good I have is a gift, accompanied by an awareness that nothing can be taken for granted.
Robert Emmons, PhD
A host of recent studies have examined the effects of gratitude on health and well-being, and these clinical trials, laboratory experiments, and large-scale surveys have revealed that the practice of gratitude has dramatic, lasting, and positive results: every time.
The effects of gratitude are not limited to the physical realm. Gratitude increases self-esteem, enhances willpower, strengthens relationships, deepens spirituality, boosts creativity, and improves athletic and academic performance.
Gratitude recruits other positive emotions, such as joy, contentment, and hope, and these produce direct physical benefits through the immune and endocrine systems. A grateful perspective on life is a stress-buster, so grateful people are more equipped than others to deal with uncertainties, ambiguities, and situations that trigger anxiety.
This program contains science-based exercises for growing your gratitude.
1 – Use while having a mask.
2 – Use during a massage/Chi Machine session
3 – Use when applying a cream
4 – Use when having a Alpha-Stim treatment or on an inversion table
5 – Use while having a Perfectio LED session
EXERCISE 1: Express gratitude for being alive (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Upon waking—and before mentally jumping into your to-do list—see what it feels like to think “I am alive!” and welcome in the day. Even though you can’t know or control what the future holds, you can turn your attention to the beauty of having a fresh new day and acknowledge some small thing you are grateful for.
EXERCISE 2: Expressing your thanks (1, 4, 5)
You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a mental gratitude letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life.
Better yet, write a gratitude letter, send it, or read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. On occasion, write one to yourself.
The other day, I felt really glad when ................. (name or describe the person in your reflection) took the time, or made the effort to .................. (say what he or she did). I know that this person could have..................... (another path he or she could have taken, perhaps in self-interest) but lucky for me, this person chose to..................................... (another brief description of what he or she did). This action ............................. (say how it affected you, practically) and made me feel ............................. (say how it affected you, personally).
Thank you ............................ (identify the person again)
EXERCISE 3: Things you’re grateful for (1, 2, 4, 5).
Think of a large or small thing you’re grateful for. Be specific and relive the sensations you felt as you remember what each thing means to you.
Writing it down is even better.
Spend 15 minutes every evening writing about an event, experience, or relationship that you are grateful for. Writing it down leads to a deeper level of processing, which has a longer, more sustained effect on your mood. About an hour before you go to bed is a good time to do this, and write about something different each night.
Think of 4 or 5 related things for which you are grateful. For example, when feeling stressed at work, try to think about several things that you like about your job. You can do the same with relationship stress, financial stress, or other daily hassles. The more you gently remind yourself of the positives, the more easily a shift toward gratitude can occur.
EXERCISE 4: Thinking pleasant thoughts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
After you get into bed, or every time you use a product, try to focus on pleasant thoughts – good things happening to your family or friends; the soothing sounds in your bedroom; how fortunate you are to be in good health; future plans, such as holidays or an upcoming trip; enjoyable things you did during the past few days; how relaxed you are feeling; good things that other people have done for you in the past few days.
EXERCISE 5: Brain with Gratitude (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
The need for novelty and change is hardwired into our brains. The substantia nigra/ventral segmental (SN/VTA), an area in the mid-brain, responds to novel stimuli. Whether you keep a diary, post gratitudes on your social media outlets, or just think grateful thoughts, focus on surprising events, unexpected kindnesses, new and unusual experiences and these will activate your SN/VTA. This area of the brain links memory and learning centers, so keeping your gratitudes fresh and new will be cognitively and neurally beneficial.
An element of surprise helps us to hold on to gratitude. Try this exercise every other evening for a week. Ask yourself in what ways did my gratitude surprise me today? We can begin to seek out occasions to be surprised, and with that, use our mind to change our brain to benefit our mind.
EXERCISE 6: Do not compare yourself to others (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
If you compare yourself with people you perceive as having more advantages, you feel less secure. Wanting more is related to increased anxiety and unhappiness. A healthier comparison is to imagine life without the pleasure that you now enjoy. Focus on the enjoyable sensations that our products give you and be grateful for it.
EXERCISE 7: Three good things (1, 2, 4, 5)
Think of three things that went well for you recently.
Why did they go well?
How grateful did they make you feel?
Did you tell anyone about them?
EXERCISE 8: Do a downward comparison (1, 2, 4, 5)
When we encounter a misfortune along our way, we can suddenly realize, by comparison, how blessed we are. Seeing others struggle with poverty or illness helps us not to take our own abundance or health for granted.
Recall a situation in which you encountered misfortune that, in turn, increased your awareness of your own blessing.
EXERCISE 9: Focus on your positive sides (1, 2, 4, 5)
Notice all the areas in your life where you excel, and be grateful for them. Focus on one thing that you’re good at, and express gratitude for what you have. Soon, this will become a sort of habit, and you will never experience bouts of envy.
EXERCISE 9A: Recall an important personal success that you are grateful for, such as winning an award, receiving an academic distinction, getting the job promotion. Maybe you had to overcome enormous obstacles, demonstrating determination and perseverance. The steeper the challenge, the sweeter the victory.
EXERCISE 10: Convert adversity into prosperity (1, 2, 4, 5)
Even when bad things happen, they ultimately have positive consequences, which we can then be grateful for. Focus on those outcomes.
What kinds of things do you now feel thankful for?
What personal strengths have grown out of your experience?
How has the event made you better able to meet the challenges of the future?
How has the bad experience benefited you?
How has it put your life into perspective?
EXERCISE 11: The Amazing Power of Grace (1, 2, 4, 5)
What does grace look like and feel like to you? How would you describe it? Ask yourself the following:
Have you ever experienced grace? What were the circumstances? What were the distinguishing features of the grace you received?
Is grace a frequent or rare experience for you? If rare, what has blocked you from receiving grace in your life?
EXERCISE 12: The Flow of Gifts (1, 2, 4, 5)
See the products in The Happy Doctor package as gifts that you received from life. Do the following exercise while using the products and let them be the focus of your gratitude. This simple exercise encourages you to consider the good things in your life.
Focus for a moment on your life's gifts. These could be simple, everyday pleasures like the ones you experience using a soothing cream or a massage. Or these could be people in your life, your personal strengths or talents, moments of natural beauty, or gestures of kindness you have received from others. Slowly repeat the word “gift” or a phrase such as “I am gifted” or “I have been gifted” several times.
Now try to experience these gifts. Enrich the gift by savoring it, relishing it, delighting in it, thinking about what your life would be like without it. Instead of taking it for granted, take it as granted.
EXERCISE 13: Appreciate Yourself (1, 2, 4, 5)
Take an inventory of all the good things you have done for others. Spend a few minutes thinking of those things. Celebrate your own goodness.
EXERCISE 14: Share the Goodness
How can you show gratitude for the many gifts you have received? Resolve to give back one act of goodness each day for a week.
Tell a friend about something someone did for you, and say why it mattered.
Invite a friend to do something you know that he or she has always wanted to do but never had the opportunity.
Offer to run an errand or perform a chore for a friend or neighbor, one you know they don't enjoy, such as raking leaves or mowing the lawn.
When people serve you in a shop or restaurant, or anywhere else, let their supervisor know what an amazing job they are doing.