Improve Your Life and Happiness with the Power of Gratitude
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- 12 downloadable resources
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- In this course you will learn about the power gratitude has to improve all aspects of your life.
- You will learn a number of scientifically proven interventions and exercises allowing you to create your own gratitude practice.
- Computer with speakers
- Notebook or journal
- An open mind
Join over 1,000 students who are boosting the quality of their lives with gratitude.
I'm sure you have heard of gratitude, being thankful for what you have, but are you aware of how powerful a thought or feeling of gratitude can be?
In this course we will explore gratitude from a spiritual, energetic, and scientific perspective.
Whether you've been keeping a gratitude journal for years, once had a gratitude practice but have stopped, or even if you think the notion of gratitude having any effect on your life is utter nonsense I invite you to join me. You will take part in a number of journaling exercises and learn simple rituals you can use on a daily basis to bring about an attitude of gratitude in your life. I'll share my story later, but let me say up front that everything I'll teach you is something I used to think was a ridiculous waste of time - that is until I tried it.
I will share with you scientific studies from the field of Positive Psychology proving the amazing power of gratitude on your health, happiness, relationships and well being. You don't have to believe I word I say, just be intrigued enough to put some of the practices I'll share with you to work and then decide for yourself.
- This is an introductory course intended for anyone interested in improving their life. Whether you feel you have nothing to be grateful for or have been writing in a gratitude journal for many years, there are simple, effective, and proven techniques that can help you be even happier.
Congratulations on taking the plunge into The Power of Gratitude!
The course is broken down into 8 sections.
Section 1: The Introduction
Section 2: A Spiritual Look at Gratitude
Section 3: An Energetic Look At Gratitude
Section 4: A Scientific Look at Gratitude
Section 5: Gratitude In All Areas of Your Life
Section 6: Gratitude Practices
Section 7: Going Forward
Section 8: Conclusion
This course is based on a live 3 hour workshop that I teach.
You can go through this all in one sitting or take it in chunks.
The most important thing is to do the exercises as we go along. Please have a notebook or journal nearby and write in it. Information alone will not change your life. You must put new information into action to achieve transformation.
I recommend doing this course from start to finish. Then later as a refresher, or if different issues arise in your life, you could revisit the lectures in Sections 5 and 6 as needed.
Remember, you can always ask questions here in Udemy. Please share your experiences, and help each other out by answering questions as a community. I'll be checking in as well and will even add new gratitude practices as I discover them.
I'm sure you have heard of gratitude, but have you ever explored what it really means?
Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. The experience of gratitude has historically been a focus of several major religions, and has been considered extensively by philosophers for centuries.
The dictionary defines GRATITUDE as
: a feeling of appreciation or thanks
: the state of being grateful: thankfulness
My favorite term for gratitude is appreciation, because it has two meanings.
1. To say thank you for something, be grateful for something.
2. To increase, to grow in value.
Those meanings are connected. Because, when you appreciate the good in your life, the good appreciates.
In this course, we will explore the notion of gratitude from three different perspectives:
Spiritual, Energetic, and Scientific.
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." ~ Meister Eckhart
One common tool is keeping a gratitude journal; daily writing about the things you are grateful for. I've maintained this practice for over 5 years and I'll show how to make it easy and fun. If you're thinking, there is no way I can do this... or this is just a bunch of BS... well, I mocked the notion of doing these very things for many years, until I actually tried them.
Energy is contagious, so let's all start spreading the good stuff - like gratitude!
In this lecture I share a bit more about myself; my experiences of life in times of gratitude and times of ingratitude.
This video from July, 2011 is the first time I tell the story of the day I truly, finally got gratitude. In such a big way that once I got home from the event I share, I got my first tattoo: "Grateful" on my left wrist.
This video was for a Hay House contest and the feedback I got from the judges, including Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson, convinced me to create more videos and share myself even more.
What Are You Grateful For?
Our first exercise is a very simple bit of gratitude journaling.
For 5 minutes you will make a list of what you are grateful for.
I am so grateful for .....
I am so grateful for ....
Do this for a full 5 minutes - use a clock, or the stop watch on your smart phone....
It doesn't matter how many things you write down, but stick with it for the five minutes.
You can be grateful for anything from any time in your life
No editing of yourself, just focus on what you are grateful for, for 5 minutes.
Writing it in long hand on paper is more powerful than just thinking it or typing it on a computer.
Once the five minutes are up, read whatever you came up with out loud and after each item say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
Do it with FEELING.
Then take a few moments to write about how the process felt.
Was it difficult? Was it easy?
Did it feel like the longest five minutes in your life, or could you have kept writing for 30 minutes?
There are now right or wrong answers (just as there are no right or wrong things to be grateful for) just notice what your experience was.
Regardless of what you wrote, keep it. We'll visit this again later.
In our next lecture we move into Section 2: A Spiritual Look At Gratitude.
Welcome to Section 2 of The Power of Gratitude – A Spiritual Look at Gratitude.
Studies have found that spirituality is capable of enhancing a person’s ability to be grateful and therefore, those who regularly attend religious services or engage in religious activities are more likely to have a greater sense of gratitude in all areas of life. I’m not advocating any particular religion here, but rather exploring the fact that gratitude is so prized in many world religions, including; Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
Gratitude is one of the most common emotions that religions aim to provoke and maintain in followers. It is central to so many religious ceremonies, rituals and holidays.
“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” ~Sara Bon Brannock
Hello and welcome to Section 3 of The Power of Gratitude – An Energetic Look at Gratitude.
I told you we would be taking a look at gratitude from 3 perspectives, Spiritual, Energetic and Scientific, but really they all blend together. The spiritual and energetic aspects are very close related and you’ll see that plenty of science is part of the energetic perspective. So don’t get caught in thinking these are 3 separate and distinct views of gratitude – they are just different entry points that really all support and prove the wondrous impact on your life that gratitude can have.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
We are also energetic beings. We, and everything around us are made of energy. We are all energy vibrating. This is a vibrational world. Everything is energy. I’m not the only saying this.
Einstein said it!
Dr. Emoto exposed various music, spoken words, typed words, pictures and videos to water. Then he froze the water and photographed the crystals. The response is nothing short of amazing.
See the effect our thoughts and intentions have on water. Thanks and Love are included here. While you watch the effect our energy has on water, consider that the average adult is about 70% water, as is the surface of the Earth. Our brains are 75% water and infants are up to 80% water.
Uploaded on Mar 6, 2010
These crystals will change you forever, in a good way...
Masaru Emoto's extraordinary work is an awesome display & powerful insight that can change our perceptions of ourselves and the world we live in, forever. We now have profound evidence that we can positively heal and transform ourselves and our planet by the thoughts we choose to think and the ways in which we put those thoughts into use.
Uploaded on Mar 13, 2009
Masaru Emoto was born in Yokohama, Japan in July 1943 and a graduate of the Yokohama Municipal University's department of humanities and sciences with a focus on International Relations. In 1986 he established the IHM Corporation in Tokyo. In October of 1992 he received certification from the Open International University as a Doctor of Alternative Medicine. Subsequently he was introduced to the concept of micro cluster water in the US and Magnetic Resonance Analysis technology. The quest thus began to discover the mystery of water.
He undertook extensive research of water around the planet not so much as a scientific researcher, but more from the perspective of an original thinker. At length he realized that it was in the frozen crystal form that water showed us its true nature through. He has gained worldwide acclaim through his groundbreaking research and discovery that water is deeply connected to our individual and collective consciousness.
He is the author of the best-selling books Messages from Water, The Hidden Messages in Water, and The True Power of Water. He is a long-time advocate for peace in relation to water. He is currently the head of the I.H.M.General Research Institute and President Emeritus of the International Water for Life Foundation, a Not for Profit Organization.
Mr. Emoto has been visually documenting these molecular changes in water by means of his photographic techniques. He freezes droplets of water and then examines them under a dark field microscope that has photographic capabilities.
Some examples from his works include:
Water from clear mountain springs and streams had beautifully formed crystalline structures, while the crystals of polluted or stagnant water were deformed and distorted.
Distilled water exposed to classical music took delicate, symmetrical crystalline shapes.
When the words "thank you" were taped to a bottle of distilled water, the frozen crystals had a similar shape to the crystals formed by water that had been exposed to Bach's "Goldberg Variations"- music composed out of gratitude to the man it was named for.
When water samples were bombarded with heavy metal music or labeled with negative words, or when negative thoughts and emotions were focused intentionally upon them, such as "Adolf Hitler", the water did not form crystals at all and displayed chaotic, fragmented structures.
When water was treated with aromatic floral oils, the water crystals tended to mimic the shape of the original flower.
Sometimes, when we cannot see the immediate results of our affirmations and or prayers, we think we have failed. But, as we learn through Masaru Emoto's photographs, that thought of failure itself becomes represented in the physical objects that surround us. Now that we have seen this, perhaps we can begin to realize that even when immediate results are invisible to the unaided human eye, they are still there. When we love our own bodies, they respond. When we send our love to the Earth, she responds.
For our own bodies at birth are more than 60 percent water, and the percentage of water in our bodies remains high throughout life (depending upon weight and body type). The earth's surface is more than 60 percent water as well. And now we have seen before our eyes that water is far from inanimate, but is actually alive and responsive to our every thought and emotion. Perhaps, having seen this, we can begin to really understand the awesome power that we possess, through choosing our thoughts and intentions, to heal ourselves and the earth. If only we believe.
Whether you participate in global meditations, or simply do this inner work in the quiet of your own loving mind and heart -- we can heal the body of our earth and recreate a clear, pristine world to hand down to our children for seven generations.
Office Masaru Emoto:
Music by: Antony Raijekov-Photo theme
Peace, love and light.
Suggested readings and email lists that might interest you.
Power vs Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, by David R. Hawkins
Energy Coaching with Andy Grant
These are the two emails I read first thing each morning
Daily Law of Attraction Quotes
Tut.com - Mike Dooley
Notes From the Universe
Then we check out what a true rocket scientist,Travis Taylor, Ph.D., has to say about “The Secret” and the Law of Attraction in his book, “The Science Behind The Secret."
While the ideas behind Positive Psychology have been around for many, many years, the movement was officially launched in 1998. Psychology has traditionally focused on what is wrong in people, on mental illness, whereas positive psychology focuses on what works.
Positive Psychology’s goal is to create “a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving individuals, families, and communities.”
Positive psychology research shows that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.
Gratitude helps people feel:
- More positive emotions
- Relish good experiences
- Improve their health
- Deal with adversity
- Build strong relationships
Gratitude can be applied on
- the past (recalling positive memories, being thankful for past blessings, elements of childhood)
- the present (not taking the good things in life for granted)
- and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude)
Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that people can successfully cultivate further.
- Dr. Robert Emmons on gratitude writing
- Dr. Marty Seligman on gratitude letters
- Gratitude improving relationships
- Gratitude in the workplace
Hi, welcome back to The Power of Gratitude.
We are now diving deeper into the field of Positive Psychology – the branch of psychology that focuses on what works. Because a positive focus creates a positive reality.
As I shared with you back in the introduction, my favorite term for gratitude is appreciation, because it has two meanings. I was introduced to this notion by my positive psychology teacher, Tal Ben-Shahar, who often says, “When I appreciate the good in my life, the good appreciates.”
Unfortunately the opposite is also true. When I do not appreciate the good in my life, when I take the good for granted, the good depreciates. If you take something granted, it is as if that thing doesn’t even exist.
I want to share a bit more research from Positive Psychology on the benefits of gratitude.
In the last lecture we looked at quite a bit of Positive Psychology research – focusing on what works, focusing on the good.
We saw benefits on mental and physical health as well as longevity
We all can learn to be grateful. It is a habit we can cultivate.
Most people don’t appreciate what they have until it is too late.
Uploaded on Nov 19, 2010
Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology, UC Davis explains:
Gratitude has the ability to heal, energize, and change lives.
Gratitude is an acknowledgment of the source of goodness.
A grateful person is training himself to receive the good of life.
List of books mentioned in this section and websites for additional info:
The Science Behind The Secret: Decoding the Law of Attraction, by Travis Taylor
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, by Martin Seligman
Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, by Tal Ben-Shahar
Being Happy: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Lead a Richer, Happier Life, by Tal Ben-Shahar
Even Happier: A Gratitude Journal for Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, by Tal Ben-Shahar
The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want, by Sonja Lyubomirsky
Authentic Happiness - Dr. Martin Seligman
Certificate in Positive Psychology - Course taught by Tal Ben-Shahar
The Greater Good - Dr. Robert Emmons
SonjaLyubomirsky.com - Sonja Lyubomirsky
TalBenShahar.com - Tal Ben-Shahar
Whatever level of health you my have right now, be grateful for it. Most people don't think about their health until they are sick. Don't be most people!
"He who enjoys good health is rich, though he knows it not." ~Italian Proverb
Exercise: Be Grateful For Each Part of You
When you notice, appreciate, and feel all the wondrous parts of your body that are performing and feeling the way you want - it will help all of you.
Positive psychology research comparing very happy people with those who are less happy found one external factor that distinguished the two groups. Relationships.
The presence of "rich and satisfying social relationships" was the key to being in the very happy group.
To Make Relationships Work
- Invest in one another
- Know and be known
- Allow for conflict
- Appreciate the positive
Exercise: Top 3 Relationships
Choose 3 of your closest relationships.
Write down 5 things you are most grateful for about each person.
Exercise: Challenging Relationship
Choose one difficult or broken relationship you want to improve.
Write down 10 things you are grateful for about that person.
Anybody who has ever had a pet doesn't need research to tell them that pets give tremendous benefits to their owner's quality of life, but plenty of research does indeed show a profound impact.
"Homer the Hound Dog's Guide to Happiness: 6 Life Lessons I Learned From My Dog!" by Andy Grant and Homer
Published on Jan 9, 2013
"Homer the Hound Dog's Guide to Happiness: 6 Life Lessons I Learned From My Dog!" is now available for the Kindle.
A sampling of all the great times with my beloved dog, Homer, set to Karen Drucker's "Thank You For This Day."
Andy shares his experiences using gratitude to transform his job by changing his perceptions of it.
Also tips on moving from a job to a calling, and a survey on discovering your signature strengths.
Ask yourself three crucial questions:
- What gives me meaning?
- What gives me pleasure?
- What are my strengths?
This free test can help you uncover your strengths.
VIA Survey of Character Strengths - this online test measures 24 character strengths.
Another great book you may want to explore;
"Now, Discover Your Strengths" by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton
Yes, it is OK to want and be grateful for stuff; for things, cars, homes, clothes, TVs, jewelry... whatever physical items or experiences you may desire. You are a spiritual being having a physical experience and your ability to enjoy things is a big part of that. The more grateful you are for the stuff you have right now, the more stuff you will have to be grateful for going forward.
Don't curse your old, beat-up car - praise it, love it, give thanks for it.
Exercise: Desires List
When I say you can be grateful for everything, I mean everything – even the things you think are bad or mistakes. Something positive, something beneficial arises out of everything – you may not recognize it immediately or even in weeks or months, but eventually something to appreciate appears.
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
There is a phrase you can use to combat negativity and complaining.
Just stop and say “But I have to say that I am really grateful for…”
Exercise: Grateful for Everything
Think of something you consider to be a major mistake or disappointment in your life. Perhaps a relationship choice, a divorce, losing a job, not getting into the school you wanted... Whatever pops into your mind as a mistake. Now, take 5-10 minutes and write down five benefits, gifts or lessons you got as a result of that.
Published on May 1, 2012
Oprah calls them her spiritual squad. Watch as she takes the stage with her superstar co-teachers: Deepak Chopra, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Tony Robbins and Iyanla Vanzant. Together they help the largest Oprah's Lifeclass audience learn to be more grateful by sharing what gratitude means to them.
Change is hard for most people. That is normal. Introducing rituals can take the burden off of relying solely on self-discipline.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle
Rituals require defining vary precise behaviors and performing them at specific times - motivated by deeply held values.
"Incremental change is better than ambitious failure."
Real change only comes when you follow up on your ideas or insights with behavioral change.
Sometimes you have to see it to believe. Then maybe you'll be ready to try it. ~ Andy
Published on Jul 11, 2013
Psychologists have scientifically proven that there is a particular element which is one of the greatest contributing factors to the overall happiness in our lives.
What makes you happy? Have you ever wondered why? Join us as we take an experimental approach on what makes people happier.
What Went Well may be my favorite gratitude practice because it is so simple and fun!
Share three things that went well in you day with your spouse, partner, best friend, children, or even the entire family.
Do it at dinner, before bed, or anytime that works best for you.
What Went Well can be done in-person, over the phone, or via email.
I learned this from Martin Seligman's book "Flourish" but made some tweaks of my own. You can read his original version in the PDF below (see Downloadable Materials).
An overview of my daily Gratitude Practice.
- Gratitude Journal; 10 or better
- Write Critical Six for next day
- What Went Well
- Journal waking thoughts, anticipations of the day
- Set Intention for the Day; Reminder Paragraph
- Thank You steps
- Various reminders through the day (photos, sticky notes)
- Keep sticky pad to jot down wins of the day
Click here for more information on Holosync, including a free demo
The Happiness Quiz I refer to in the lecture comes from this book, Happy For No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out
I thought it might be interesting to share this video I made a couple of years ago about gratitude journaling. This was before I studied Positive Psychology. I was recommending journaling solely based on my experiences.
Uploaded on Jul 31, 2011
Multiple suicide attempt survivor, Andy Grant, discusses the value and joy of keeping a gratitude journal.
Published on May 1, 2012
Sixteen years ago, Oprah started a gratitude journal and, every day, began writing down five things she was grateful for. From fresh flowers to the kindness of a stranger, Oprah says acknowledging these things made her more receptive to the goodness in her life. Find out why she believes keeping this journal was the single most important thing she's ever done.
Uploaded on Nov 11, 2007
Deepak Chopra guided meditation.
The word meditation comes from the Latin meditatio, which originally indicated every type of physical or intellectual exercise, then later evolved into the more specific meaning "contemplation."
Eastern spiritual teachings, including meditation, have been adapted and increasingly practiced in Western culture.
Now it is time for you to choose what gratitude practices you will try and what rituals you will create to help you maintain a practice.
Don't select more than two rituals at once. Get those two solidly in place, then consider adding a third, fourth etc
Use the PDFs below to help you select practices and create your rituals.
Tal Ben-Shahar was my teacher for a year-long Positive Psychology program. This video is a summary of his book "Happier" by Brian Johnson for his PhilosophersNotes.
Uploaded on Dec 10, 2009
"Happier" by Tal Ben-Shahar. His class on Positive Psychology was the most popular class at Harvard University EVER and his awesome book "Happier" is basically the compilation of all the Big Ideas from that class.
Let's hear from my favorite psychology professor, Tal Ben-Shahar, one more time.
Do you think gratitude might be one of his five tips? Hmmm... do you?
Published on Apr 23, 2012
Positive psychologists have found a series of scientifically-proven ways for you to live a happier life.
“People who are consistently grateful have been found to be relatively happier, more energetic, and more hopeful and to report experiencing more frequent positive emotions. They also tend to be more helpful and empathic, more spiritual and religious, more forgiving, and less materialistic than others who are less predisposed to gratefulness. Furthermore, the more a person is inclined to gratitude, the less likely he or she is to be depressed, anxious, lonely, envious, or neurotic.”
~ Sonja Lyubomirsky in "The How of Happiness"
See Downloadable Materials for a Gratitude Resources PDF listing books, websites, and research referenced in this course.
If you found value in this course please leave a rating and review. And spread the good stuff; share this course with your friends.
"Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it." ~Ibn Khaldoun Al Muqaddima
Thank you very much!