The Practical Power of Gratitude – Revised Lecture Notes 2020

The Practical Power of Gratitude — presented by Jerry Posner

Notes and Ideas to Consider 

What can I be grateful for today?

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.”

        Joni Mitchell

Intentional gratitude practices – “Grati-Tools”   — Possible benefits:

— to experience more positive feelings, moods, and emotions associated with gratitude.

— to encourage sincere expressions of appreciation, thankfulness, acknowledgement.

— to gain new perspectives, biases/beliefs and habits that could catalyze improvements in many ways.

— to literally increase happiness, resilience, resourcefulness and well-being; short and long term.

  Grati-Tool #1:  Appreciating Those Who’ve Made a Difference In Your Life

• Begin a list of people (or animal companions), past or present, who have positively contributed to your life. Those who deserve thanks; who’ve loved you, were kind to you, helped and supported you: family, friends, colleagues, teachers, service providers … even strangers.  Add one name per day.

 Grati-Tool #2:  One Minute of WHAT’S GOOD!!! (“Stop and smell the roses!”)

  • Take a walk (slow or fast pace), and notice things that you could conceivably be grateful for.    Such as:  life itself, pavement, electricity, trees, air, cars, sky, gravity, comfortable shoes, things that work!
  • Or, take a minute, wherever you are (sitting, dining, shopping) and simply notice “what’s good!” 
  • Or, pay attention to your breathing for one minute, while thinking: “I’m grateful I can breathe.” 

 Grati-Tool #3:  Liberally & Sincerely EXPRESS Appreciation To Those Who Surely Deserve It

Say “thank you!” “Thanks for helping!” “I appreciate what you did.”  “Great job!”  “Nice going!” Tell the people you love, that you do.  Send thank-you notes.  Pay it forward!

Grati-Tool #4  Write a Gratitude Journal (Gratitude Diary, Gratitude List, Daily Gratitudes)

Write a daily list of five specific things — people, relationships, circumstances, feelings, abilities, talents, blessings, music, art, something that made you laugh, something that made you smile, something that warmed your heart, a great meal, etc., that you feel grateful for — reasons to feel happy, things you appreciate, people and things you’d miss if they were absent from your life.

 Grati-Tool #5 Happy Birthday – 

Grateful For Another Year!

Make a gratitude list on your birthday, with one item for each year of your life.

Grati-Tool #6:  Take a Gratitude Break

Close your eyes … relax … and imagine a person, thing, circumstance, situation, accomplishment, talent, ability, etc. that you’re truly and deeply grateful for — something specific that makes you feel happy.  Perhaps a convenience generally taken for granted, that you can be thankful for. Mentally offer a “thank you” or “I appreciate this.”

“All of us have special ones who loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, 10 seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are, those who cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life.”  — Mister Fred Rogers

©2020 Jerry D. Posner    Blog:

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