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An Attitude of Gratitude: 1-2-3!

Posted on: October 7th, 2020 by Lysa Eastman

We frequently hear clients talking about wanting to be “grateful” or developing an “attitude of gratitude”. The practice of feeling grateful or having an attitude of gratitude is more than a catchy phrase. Rather, it helps prime us to have increased emotional resiliency in times of stress. This does not mean that stress, or worry, does not impact us, nor does it mean we deny or ignore it. Instead, it is a skill that allows us to be more efficient in how we process and deal with discomfort in our day-to-day or if you are thinking, “Well, cool story. But how do I actually DO it?” great question!

Dr. Simon-Thomas, the Science Director at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, likes the practice of “Gratitude 1-2-3”. This practice is designed to engage our gratitude actively, and as I understand it, anchor it to the specific moment or experience for which we are grateful. This also provides the social benefit of engaging the person or group involved in the experience to get a direct appreciation for their contributions. To an extent, these elements are lost or missed when we reflexively provide a simple acknowledgment, such as a “thank you” or head-nod. While a simple acknowledgment is better than none at all, the practice of Gratitude 1-2-3 provides some extra muscle for the job! https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/supersurvivors/202009/three-positive-psychology-practices-our-troubled-times

The first step of Gratitude 1-2-3 is to identify what you are grateful for that the person did for you. The goal here is to concretely identify what it is, rather than the vague “Thank you”. Next is the acknowledgment of their effort at the moment. It is easy for us to try to deflect praise; however, even something easy for them might take effort we did not have at that moment! The final step is to communicate how you have been touched, or benefited, by the act or experience. This may sound like a lot, but Dr. Simon-Thomas highlights with consistent practice that it can be communicated in as little as 15 seconds!

Now, I am not saying that this is “as easy as 1-2-3” since it does take some work. It provides a framework in three steps to help with applying a change in as little as 15 seconds that can provide great benefit to our day. If you have been wanting to develop your own attitude of gratitude or help in implementing it, you can reach us here: https://www.healthymynds.com/contact/

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