I was supposed to do part 2 of my “Forgiveness” series today. But my friend Dumari Dancoes sent me this beautiful video of an experiment conducted by some people on how gratitude affects happiness. And I found that so interesting, that I thought I would do a blog post on that today, and do part two of Forgiveness next Tuesday.
We hear all the time about gratitude, feeling gratitude, living in gratitude…and we hear so much about it, that it ends up feeling like platitudes. We don’t take it seriously. I know I didn’t. In fact I used to think that writing gratitude journals was a big waste of time, and a chore. How wrong was I!
I could see my life changing when I made it a point to write at least 5 things I was grateful about during the day. And I do this right before I sleep. When I began, I thought I’d do it for a few days, and then give it up, because nothing will happen. But….my outlook towards life changed.
Good things started happening in my life. I think it happened, because I knew I had to write at night, so I looked for things during the day to be grateful for. Soon, instead of focusing on all the things that were not going right in my life, I was focusing on finding things I was thankful for or happy about.
And you know what happens – what you focus on, GROWS. 😀
I was focusing on things to be happy about, just so I could write about it at night…and the things I focused upon, grew. My life started to get filled with experiences that made me happy.
And I’m not trying to say that my life is Heavenly now, and I have no challenges. Far from it! LOL! 😀 However, what I do notice is, that the challenges have decreased, and peace has increased. And even the challenges don’t seem to affect me much. I feel this feeling of, “I am in control of my life…all is well…it’s going to be OK”. And when you have that mind state, dealing with your challenges is much easier.
About the experiment: Anyway, so this video (which I will link to below), shows the experimenters asking the participants to think of one person who helped them a lot. Someone they each felt gratitude towards. Then they made them write a letter to the people they were grateful towards. After that, they made them call up these people, and read out their letter. The participants went through a “happiness test” before writing this letter, and then they went through a happiness test after reading out the letter to their people. They found that each person left happier than before, BUT, the ones who actually got to read out the letter to their people were FAR happier than the ones who were unable to call. The other thing they noticed was, the people who came into the experiment the saddest, had the maximum impact of this exercise.
That means, when we feel the saddest, maddest, lowest….we should take a bit of time out to think of everything we are really grateful for. And if we have a person we are grateful towards, why not write a letter to that person, and read it out to them?
Let us also try this experiment. Will you do this? Think of a person you feel very grateful towards. Write him/her a letter, and read it out to them. Let me know what happened. 😀
Please do try it and let me know how it goes for you! I’m going to do it!! 😀 😀 😀
And here is the video: