Being Grateful: The Most Important Lesson

A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being. — James E. Faust

The purpose of our brain is to help us survive, not to make us happy. What does this mean exactly?

The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones — Rick Hanson

We are biologically wired to focus much more on a threat than on something good that happens in our life. Think about it. When you do the same thing well 10 times and you screw it up once, what experience will you remember? 😉

How can we counteract this negative bias? A very effective way consists in making being grateful a habit by keeping a gratitude journal, where you list daily 3 to 5 things you are grateful for on that day. Try to notice the small things that you normally take for granted: the warmth of the sun, the call of a friend, a good coffee, a good night sleep, and so on. You can also try to pick something different everyday.

Remember, it is important to establish a daily practice because the way you rewire your brain is through repeating an action or a thought over and over again. If you are not a very methodical person, set a reminder on your mobile phone or leave the journal on your pillow. What if you forget to stay committed for one or more days? Do not beat yourself up! Just accept it and start again. Simple, right? 🙂

To make this practice effective the secret is the following: do not just think about something you are grateful for, feel grateful! Over time, as you start to sense more your internal energy, you will experience an immediate internal shift anytime you feel grateful for something 🙂

If you are curious about this topic watch the wonderful TED talk given by Brother David Steindl-Rast about the importance of gratitude: Want to Be Happy Be Grateful.

The root of joy is gratefulness…It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. — Brother David Steindl-Rast

Are you willing to join me in making being grateful a habit? 🙂

Do you have any question or comment? Please leave it there below 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Being Grateful: The Most Important Lesson

  1. Clara

    Great habit!

    When the year starts I get one of this small agendas for my gratitude jorunal and keep it on my night table with a pencil. Every night, last thing before I switch the light off I note at least 3 moments of the day I feel greatful for, and so I can sleep on this energy 🙂

    In hard days (and also randomly) I read my notes of the last week(s). It always makes me smile and feel happy and grateful to read my gratitude agenda.

    I feel very grateful for my gratitude journal, that is always there to remind me how wonderful life is!

    Thank you Giulia for this post and talk ❤

    Like

  2. Pilar Z.

    I’m so grateful to receive this great lesson at this moment of my life. Your comments are so essential and inspirational! Many thanks to you both.
    Keep on going and sharing!

    Like

  3. Giada

    Thank you, Giulia to share all these thoughts! I think they are very usefull for everybody! For me it is very interesting and at the same time motivating to know not only what to do to be more grateful, but also why. I have never thought about the survival way of my brain and the reason of a bigger focus on a threat. I have decided: I will start doing the list, too!!! 😘

    Like

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