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  Quotations - Gratitude  
[Quote No.46904] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"There is scientific evidence that grateful people are more resilient to stress, whether minor everyday hassles or major personal upheavals!" - Robert Emmons
psychologist. [http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_ways_to_cultivate_gratitude_at_work?utm_source=GG+Newsletter+%232+-+May+2013&utm_campaign=GG+Newsletter+-+May+2013&utm_medium=email ]
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[Quote No.46906] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times: A decade’s worth of research on gratitude has shown me that when life is going well, gratitude allows us to celebrate and magnify the goodness. But what about when life goes badly? In the midst of the economic maelstrom that has gripped our country, I have often been asked if people can—or even should—feel grateful under such dire circumstances. My response is that not only will a grateful attitude help—it is essential. In fact, it is precisely under crisis conditions when we have the most to gain by a grateful perspective on life. In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope. In other words, gratitude can help us cope with hard times. Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that gratitude will come easily or naturally in a crisis. It’s easy to feel grateful for the good things. No one ‘feels’ grateful that he or she has lost a job or a home or good health or has taken a devastating hit on his or her retirement portfolio. But it is vital to make a distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful. We don’t have total control over our emotions. We cannot easily will ourselves to feel grateful, less depressed, or happy. Feelings follow from the way we look at the world, thoughts we have about the way things are, the way things should be, and the distance between these two points. But being grateful is a choice, a prevailing attitude that endures and is relatively immune to the gains and losses that flow in and out of our lives. When disaster strikes, gratitude provides a perspective from which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. Yes, this perspective is hard to achieve—but my research says it is worth the effort. --- Remember the bad: Trials and suffering can actually refine and deepen gratefulness if we allow them to show us not to take things for granted. Our national holiday of gratitude, Thanksgiving, was born and grew out of hard times. The first Thanksgiving took place after nearly half the pilgrims died from a rough winter and year. It became a national holiday in 1863 in the middle of the Civil War and was moved to its current date in the 1930s following the Depression. Why? Well, when times are good, people take prosperity for granted and begin to believe that they are invulnerable. In times of uncertainty, though, people realize how powerless they are to control their own destiny. If you begin to see that everything you have, everything you have counted on, may be taken away, it becomes much harder to take it for granted. So crisis can make us more grateful—but research says gratitude also helps us cope with crisis. Consciously cultivating an attitude of gratitude builds up a sort of psychological immune system that can cushion us when we fall. There is scientific evidence that grateful people are more resilient to stress, whether minor everyday hassles or major personal upheavals. The contrast between suffering and redemption serves as the basis for one of my tips for practicing gratitude: remember the bad. It works this way: Think of the worst times in your life, your sorrows, your losses, your sadness—and then remember that here you are, able to remember them, that you made it through the worst times of your life, you got through the trauma, you got through the trial, you endured the temptation, you survived the bad relationship, you’re making your way out of the dark. Remember the bad things, then look to see where you are now. This process of remembering how difficult life used to be and how far we have come sets up an explicit contrast that is fertile ground for gratefulness. Our minds think in terms of counterfactuals—mental comparisons we make between the way things are and how things might have been different. Contrasting the present with negative times in the past can make us feel happier (or at least less unhappy) and enhance our overall sense of well-being. This opens the door to coping gratefully. Try this little exercise. First, think about one of the unhappiest events you have experienced. How often do you find yourself thinking about this event today? Does the contrast with the present make you feel grateful and pleased? Do you realize your current life situation is not as bad as it could be? Try to realize and appreciate just how much better your life is now. The point is not to ignore or forget the past but to develop a fruitful frame of reference in the present from which to view experiences and events. There’s another way to foster gratitude: confront your own mortality. In a recent study, researchers asked participants to imagine a scenario where they are trapped in a burning high rise, overcome by smoke, and killed. This resulted in a substantial increase in gratitude levels, as researchers discovered when they compared this group to two control conditions who were not compelled to imagine their own deaths. In these ways, remembering the bad can help us to appreciate the good. As the German theologian and Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, ‘Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.’ We know that gratitude enhances happiness, but why? Gratitude maximizes happiness in multiple ways, and one reason is that it helps us reframe memories of unpleasant events in a way that decreases their unpleasant emotional impact. This implies that grateful coping entails looking for positive consequences of negative events. For example, grateful coping might involve seeing how a stressful event has shaped who we are today and has prompted us to reevaluate what is really important in life. --- Reframing disaster: To say that gratitude is a helpful strategy to handle hurt feelings does not mean that we should try to ignore or deny suffering and pain. The field of positive psychology has at times been criticized for failing to acknowledge the value of negative emotions. Barbara Held of Bowdoin College in Maine, for example, contends that positive psychology has been too negative about negativity and too positive about positivity. To deny that life has its share of disappointments, frustrations, losses, hurts, setbacks, and sadness would be unrealistic and untenable. Life is suffering. No amount of positive thinking exercises will change this truth. So telling people simply to buck up, count their blessings, and remember how much they still have to be grateful for can certainly do much harm. Processing a life experience through a grateful lens does not mean denying negativity. It is not a form of superficial happiology. Instead, it means realizing the power you have to transform an obstacle into an opportunity. It means reframing a loss into a potential gain, recasting negativity into positive channels for gratitude. A growing body of research has examined how grateful recasting works. In a study conducted at Eastern Washington University, participants were randomly assigned to one of three writing groups that would recall and report on an unpleasant open memory—a loss, a betrayal, victimization, or some other personally upsetting experience. The first group wrote for 20 minutes on issues that were irrelevant to their open memory. The second wrote about their experience pertaining to their open memory. Researchers asked the third group to focus on the positive aspects of a difficult experience—and discover what about it might now make them feel grateful. Results showed that they demonstrated more closure and less unpleasant emotional impact than participants who just wrote about the experience without being prompted to see ways it might be redeemed with gratitude. Participants were never told not to think about the negative aspects of the experience or to deny or ignore the pain. Moreover, participants who found reasons to be grateful demonstrated fewer intrusive memories, such as wondering why it happened, whether it could have been prevented, or if they believed they caused it to happen. Thinking gratefully, this study showed, can help heal troubling memories and in a sense redeem them—a result echoed in many other studies. --- More on Gratitude: Some years ago, I asked people with debilitating physical illnesses to compose a narrative concerning a time when they felt a deep sense of gratitude to someone or for something. I asked them to let themselves re-create that experience in their minds so that they could feel the emotions as if they had transported themselves back in time to the event itself. I also had them reflect on what they felt in that situation and how they expressed those feelings. In the face of progressive diseases, people often find life extremely challenging, painful, and frustrating. I wondered whether it would even be possible for them to find anything to be grateful about. For many of them, life revolved around visits to the pain clinic and pharmacy. I would not have been at all surprised if resentment overshadowed gratefulness. As it turned out, most respondents had trouble settling on a specific instance—they simply had so much in their lives that they were grateful for. I was struck by the profound depth of feeling that they conveyed in their essays, and by the apparent life-transforming power of gratitude in many of their lives. It was evident from reading these narrative accounts that (1) gratitude can be an overwhelmingly intense feeling, (2) gratitude for gifts that others easily overlook most can be the most powerful and frequent form of thankfulness, and (3) gratitude can be chosen in spite of one’s situation or circumstances. I was also struck by the redemptive twist that occurred in nearly half of these narratives: out of something bad (suffering, adversity, affliction) came something good (new life or new opportunities) for which the person felt profoundly grateful. If you are troubled by an open memory or a past unpleasant experience, you might consider trying to reframe how you think about it using the language of thankfulness. The unpleasant experiences in our lives don’t have to be of the traumatic variety in order for us to gratefully benefit from them. Whether it is a large or small event, here are some additional questions to ask yourself: -- What lessons did the experience teach me? -- Can I find ways to be thankful for what happened to me now even though I was not at the time it happened? -- What ability did the experience draw out of me that surprised me? -- How am I now more the person I want to be because of it? Have my negative feelings about the experience limited or prevented my ability to feel gratitude in the time since it occurred? -- Has the experience removed a personal obstacle that previously prevented me from feeling grateful? Remember, your goal is not to relive the experience but rather to get a new perspective on it. Simply rehearsing an upsetting event makes us feel worse about it. That is why catharsis has rarely been effective. Emotional venting without accompanying insight does not produce change. No amount of writing about the event will help unless you are able to take a fresh, redemptive perspective on it. This is an advantage that grateful people have—and it is a skill that anyone can learn." - Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D.
He is the world's leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of 'The Journal of Positive Psychology'. He is also the author of the books 'Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier' and the new 'Gratitude Works!: A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity'. Published in the article, 'How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times', May 13, 2013. [http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_can_help_you_through_hard_times ]
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[Quote No.46910] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Express gratitude: People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, and have more positive emotions. The best way to harness the positive power of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or list, where you actively write down exactly what you’re grateful for each day. Doing so has been linked to happier moods, greater optimism and even better physical health. Remember, your future depends very largely on the thoughts you think today. So think positive thoughts of hope, confidence, love and success. A simple habit to start is to express appreciation at every meal, either out loud or silently, whichever works for you." - Dr. Joseph Mercola
[http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/06/13-happiness-tips.aspx?e_cid=20130606_DNL_ProdTest3_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20130606ProdTest3 ]
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[Quote No.46960] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Bitterness imprisons life; love [and gratitude] releases it. Bitterness paralyzes life; love [and gratitude] empowers it. Bitterness sours life; love [and gratitude] sweetens it. Bitterness sickens life; love [and gratitude] heals it. Bitterness blinds life; love [and gratitude] anoints its eyes." - Harry Emerson Fosdick

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[Quote No.47018] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"...grateful living makes life meaningful and full of joy." - Brother David Steindl-Rast
He is a Benedictine monk and one of the leading figures in a worldwide gratitude movement. Long before gratitude became a hot topic of scientific research, Brother David was writing about gratefulness as the heart of prayer and a path to liberation, helping to promote the practice of gratitude as a way of healing oneself and society. Perhaps best known for helping create interfaith dialogues to increase understanding between religious traditions, he received the Martin Buber Award in 1975 for his work in this area. [http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/is_gratitude_the_path_to_better_world ]
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[Quote No.47019] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"...one can learn to focus on 'opportunity' as the gift within every given moment. This attitude towards life always improves the situation. Even in times of sickness, someone who habitually practices grateful living will look for the opportunity that a given moment offers and use it creatively." - Brother David Steindl-Rast
He is a Benedictine monk and one of the leading figures in a worldwide gratitude movement. Long before gratitude became a hot topic of scientific research, Brother David was writing about gratefulness as the heart of prayer and a path to liberation, helping to promote the practice of gratitude as a way of healing oneself and society. Perhaps best known for helping create interfaith dialogues to increase understanding between religious traditions, he received the Martin Buber Award in 1975 for his work in this area. [http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/is_gratitude_the_path_to_better_world ]
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[Quote No.47020] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"...Illness and depression make it more difficult to be alert to gratitude, for lack of energy. But even on healthy days, I need to put myself back, again and again, onto the track of grateful living. What gets in the way is familiarity; the proverb is right: 'Familiarity breeds contempt.' Grateful eyes look at whatever it be as if they had never seen it before and caress it as if they would never see it again. This is a most realistic attitude, for every moment is indeed unique. But of this I need to remind myself again and again. This reminding myself is the dynamic element in mindfulness." - Brother David Steindl-Rast
He is a Benedictine monk and one of the leading figures in a worldwide gratitude movement. Long before gratitude became a hot topic of scientific research, Brother David was writing about gratefulness as the heart of prayer and a path to liberation, helping to promote the practice of gratitude as a way of healing oneself and society. Perhaps best known for helping create interfaith dialogues to increase understanding between religious traditions, he received the Martin Buber Award in 1975 for his work in this area. [http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/is_gratitude_the_path_to_better_world ]
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[Quote No.47021] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Grateful living brings in place of greed: sharing; in place of oppression: respect; in place of violence: peace. Who does not long for a world of sharing, mutual respect, and peace?" - Brother David Steindl-Rast
He is a Benedictine monk and one of the leading figures in a worldwide gratitude movement. Long before gratitude became a hot topic of scientific research, Brother David was writing about gratefulness as the heart of prayer and a path to liberation, helping to promote the practice of gratitude as a way of healing oneself and society. Perhaps best known for helping create interfaith dialogues to increase understanding between religious traditions, he received the Martin Buber Award in 1975 for his work in this area. [http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/is_gratitude_the_path_to_better_world ]
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[Quote No.47073] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"[Here's a famous example of using the power of gratitude that things aren't worse to see and appreciate what is good especially in 'bad' experiences:] Since my house burned down, I now own a better view, of the rising moon." - Mizuta Masahide
(1657 - 1723), poet and samurai.
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[Quote No.47082] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"In actuality, no one ever sank so deep that he could not sink deeper, and there may be one or many who sank deeper. [So it is always possible to be happy and grateful that things are not worse!]" - Soren Kierkegaard
Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, and religious author.
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[Quote No.47093] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"If you cry because [something good for example] the sun has gone out of your life, your tears [of disappointment and bitterness] will prevent you from seeing [and being grateful for something else that is good in your life for example] the stars." - Rabindranath Tagore

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[Quote No.47120] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"The only disability in life is a bad attitude [i.e. no gratitude that things aren't worse]." - Scott Hamilton

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[Quote No.47128] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"A person is both wise and wealthy when you master the art of appreciating what you already have." - Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Quote from his book, 'Gateway to Self Knowledge,' pp. 103-4.
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[Quote No.47220] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Most [unhappy] human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted [and not being grateful that things are not worse, which is the primary reason they are unhappy]." - Aldous Huxley

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[Quote No.47241] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"No man knows till he has suffered from the night how sweet and dear to his heart and eye the morning can be." - Bram Stoker

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[Quote No.47382] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Some people grumble because roses have thorns; I am thankful that the thorns have roses." - Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
French critic
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[Quote No.47390] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Unwise people highly value things before they have them and then after they lose them but not while they have them - taking the latter for granted. Wise people do the opposite." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.47533] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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[Quote No.47546] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"[Contrast with] Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor." - Truman Capote

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[Quote No.47612] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"[Reframing experiences by re-comparing them with things that are worse so feel grateful and happy rather than the usual comparing them with things that are better and feeling bitter and envious.] Reframing: It's All How You Look At It! --- Reframing In Action: Have you ever noticed that two people can face the same situation and one person can describe the situation as a harrowing ordeal while another sees it as a minor inconvenience? Or have you had one of those days when it seems that everything is going wrong--until you hear someone else's troubles that make yours pale in comparison, showing you that your stressors really aren't so bad? Have you faced a challenge in your life that initially seemed like a negative event, but that eventually brought gifts and gains that cause you to look back on the event as positive? These situations all involve a phenomenon that psychologists refer to as 'reframing'. --- What Is Reframing? Reframing is a way of changing the way you look at something and, thus, changing your experience of it. Reframing can turn a stressful event into either a major trauma or a challenge to be bravely overcome. Reframing can depict a really bad day as a mildly low point in an overall wonderful life. Reframing can see a negative event as a learning experience. Reframing is a way that we can alter our perceptions of stressors and, thus, relieve significant amounts of stress and create a more positive life before actually making any changes in our circumstances. --- How Does Reframing Affect Stress? Using reframing techniques can actually change your physical responses to stress because your body's stress response is triggered by perceived stress, not actual events. If you perceive that you are threatened--physically or psychologically--by a situation, your fight-or-flight response will kick in. Your stress response can be triggered by events ranging from annoying to frightening, and can remain triggered long after the triggering event has passed, especially if you're not practicing relaxation techniques. Reframing techniques are a way of minimizing the stressors you perceive in your life, thus easing the process of relaxation." - Elizabeth Scott
[http://stress.about.com/od/positiveattitude/a/reframing.htm?nl=1 ]
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[Quote No.47634] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude [primarily an attitude of gratitude - grateful that things are not worse]!" - Dale Carnegie

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[Quote No.47676] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"A happy person is not a person in a certain set of [good] circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of [gratitude] attitudes." - Hugh Downs

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[Quote No.47698] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"The words you speak program and condition your mind. When you speak words of gratitude, you are programming and conditioning your brain and mind to experience more and more gratitude. Speaking words of negativity and ingratitude program and condition your brain and mind to experience less and less gratitude and more and more misery. You create your habits and your habits create you. By speaking words of gratitude regularly, you are developing the habit of speaking words of gratitude. The more you keep up this habit, the easier it becomes to say even more words of gratitude. As you continue to speak words of gratitude, thoughts of gratitude are integrated into your mind and you will spontaneously think and speak this way. Catch yourself whenever what you say is an expression of a lack of gratitude. Instead of being upset with yourself for still lacking as much gratitude as you would wish, be grateful that you are becoming more aware of your lapses. This awareness will enable you to be more careful from now on. It would be a good idea, to resolve that whenever you hear yourself saying something that is ungrateful, you immediately make five statements of gratitude." - Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Quote from his book, 'THANK YOU! Gratitude: Formulas, Stories, and Insights'.
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[Quote No.47729] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"It’s been said that happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have!" - Unknown

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[Quote No.47739] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"[The opposite of gratitude] Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality." - John W. Gardner

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[Quote No.47875] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own...[that we can be grateful for]." - Charles Dickens

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[Quote No.47898] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Any landing you can walk away from is a good one!" - Proverb

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[Quote No.47905] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best. Therefore, it tends to become the best; it takes the form or character of the best and will receive the best." - Wallace Wattles

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[Quote No.47943] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Be grateful for the struggle you’re in today because it is developing the wisdom and strength you need for tomorrow!!" - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.47974] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Decreasing depression... We looked at the effect on severe depression of doing just the first ... exercise, three blessings [- writing down three things that went well today and why]. Depressive symptoms were substantially reduced and happiness markedly increased. In this uncontrolled study, 94% of severely depressed people became less depressed and 92% became happier, with an average symptom relief of a whopping 50% over only 15 days. This compares very favourably with anti-depressant medication and with psychotherapy." - Professor Martin Seligman
Director, Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/happiness_formula/4903464.stm ]
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[Quote No.47998] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"For sleep, riches and health to be truly enjoyed, they must be interrupted [and therefore not taken for granted]." - Jean Paul
(1763 - 1825)
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[Quote No.48005] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Thankfulness for me is not so much an enthusiastic response to good and pleasant things in my life as it is a disciplined way of viewing life. To do this requires practice, practice, practice." - Bob Snyder

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[Quote No.48006] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Gratitude lifts our eyes off the things we lack so we might see the blessings we possess." - Max Lucado

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[Quote No.48007] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have a tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress." - Robert Emmons

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[Quote No.48008] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Gratitude can lower blood pressure, improve immune function, promote happiness and well-being, and spur acts of helpfulness, generosity and cooperation." - Robert Emmons

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[Quote No.48009] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!" - Henry Ward Beecher

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[Quote No.48041] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Got Happiness? Social Comparison Theory Can Help! Minimize upward social comparisons for a happier life. We all want to be happy or at least satisfied with our lives. In order to increase the odds of happiness and life satisfaction we really need to be mindful of social comparison theory and how it may impact the reflections that we make on our lives. In a nutshell, we constantly compare ourselves with others and then make judgments about the quality of our life based on these observations. We reflect on how well or bad we have it based on the perceived good or bad comparisons found among others. There are upward comparisons (i.e., observing people who seem to have it better than us when it comes to money, looks, resources, talents) and downward comparisons (i.e., observing people who seem to have it worse than we do regarding these qualities that we desire). We often feel better [and grateful] about ourselves and our lives when making downward comparisons and feel bad [and bitter] about ourselves when making upward comparisons... So, in order for you to maximize happiness and life satisfaction you'll want to be well aware of the influence and power of social comparison theory and make efforts to avoid upward comparisons as much as you can." - Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D.
Published on April 9, 2013 [http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/do-the-right-thing/201304/got-happiness-social-comparison-theory-can-help ]
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[Quote No.48042] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"The Perils [and potential joys] of Comparative Thinking: 'I wept because I had no Porsche, and then I saw a man who had no BMW.' That’s an ancient proverb, slightly doctored for modern American sensibilities. The point is that, regardless of our life circumstances, we derive our happiness and our disappointment from comparisons with others’ fortunes. Indeed, the human brain seems to be perversely wired for relative judgments, even when the comparisons sabotage our well-being. Is there any way to avoid the comparison trap? It should be obvious that my successes or failures in life have nothing to do with you, nor do your troubles or good fortunes reflect on me. How can we make meaningful and helpful comparisons [that help make me energised, grateful and happy], while avoiding maladaptive ones [that make me dejected, bitter and unhappy]? New research suggests that, while some comparative thinking may be automatic and irresistible, we may also have the cognitive wherewithal to choose comparisons that make us happier. Psychological scientist Karim Kassam of Carnegie Mellon University has been leading a study of both the perils and possibilities of comparative thinking, to see how we process our misfortunes and protect ourselves against unhappiness—or how we might. Kassam and his colleagues figured that people always make the most obvious comparison first, and unhesitatingly. So if I win $100 in a lottery and you win $20, I’m the clear winner, which makes me happy. But what if fortunes reverse? What if you win the $100 and I have to settle for $20? How do I defuse my disappointment, and move ahead without regret? Kassam explored this question by running his own 'lottery' on the streets and in the public parks of Boston. He approached almost 300 pedestrians, and offered them a 'scratch-off' lottery ticket. Each ticket had two amounts of money concealed from view—either $7 and $5, or $5 and $3, or $3 and $1. Each volunteer scratched off one or the other, revealing his winnings. That same volunteer then scratched and revealed the remaining amount, which he would not win. In short, some of the volunteers were 'winners' and some were 'losers.' Both winners and losers then completed a questionnaire probing their feelings of happiness, disappointment and regret. The results were not as obvious as you might think. Yes, the players reported more positive emotions when they won more cash, and winners were happier than losers. That's unsurprising. But as reported on-line in the journal Psychological Science, the researchers also looked at the interaction of winning/losing and dollar amount, and found that only losers’ emotions were affected by the actual amount of cash won. In other words, winners were happy just for winning, while losers found consolation in the amount of their winnings. The obvious comparison didn’t feel good, so the losers moved on to one that did, namely: Even three dollars is better than a dollar, which is better than nothing. What the losers had done is change benchmarks. Instead of the obvious and disappointing comparison—'I could have won $5 but I only won $3'—they switched to an uplifting thought—'I now have $3 that I didn’t have before.' The most obvious comparison—winning versus losing—is easy and effortless. But Kassam suspected that alternative comparisons are not so effortless—indeed that it may take motivation and mental work to see the bright side of winning just $3. If that’s the case, he figured, it should be possible to experimentally interfere with this rationalization. So that’s what he attempted to do in the lab. He had volunteers sit at a computer that displayed two boxes. When volunteers selected a box, both boxes opened—revealing what they won and what they missed out on. As before, they rated their feelings of happiness, disappointment and regret. But here’s the twist. The game was rigged, and the volunteers were always losers. Sometimes they won $5 and sometimes $3, but they were always losers by comparison. Some of these losers were required to perform a difficult mental task as they were playing the lottery game—to see if this additional 'cognitive load' interfered with the effort to find a happier, more adaptive comparison. And it did, clearly. As before, the losers found some compensation in their actual winnings—but only if they had the cognitive resources to actively choose that strategy. If they were mentally burdened, the cash in hand didn’t temper their disappointment. They were simply losers, and felt like losers. This suggests that, while we may have the cognitive tools to steer our brains away from disappointing comparisons, the strategy is not automatic or foolproof. It takes work—and perhaps practice—to keep in mind that our circumstances always compare favorably—to someone, somewhere [and thereby be grateful and happier than otherwise]." - Wray Herbert
Wray Herbert’s book, 'On Second Thought', explores the many forms of irrational thinking. Excerpts from his two blogs—'We’re Only Human' and 'Full Frontal Psychology'—appear regularly in 'Scientific American Mind' and 'The Huffington Post'. [http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/were-only-human/how-to-win-the-happiness-lottery.html ]
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[Quote No.48043] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"How Does Social Comparison Affect Our Level of Happiness? Relative deprivation is when we compare ourselves to others and find ourselves to be lacking with respect to what they have: ... Part of whether we are happy depends on our social comparisons. Relative deprivation is believing that one is being deprived of something one is rightfully entitled to have. It refers to the feeling of discontent people experience when they compare their positions to others and realize that they have less than them. ... ---The Context of Relative Deprivation: It is noted that the direction of the relative deprivation effect is contingent upon one's place in the social hierarchy. For instance, people who are in the middle to upper socioeconomic bracket often compare themselves to those who are poor and experience a sense of satisfaction. Those who climb much higher than the upper-middle class bracket tend to not be happier because those people tend to be comparing themselves to individuals who are far richer than they are (Gruder, 1977; Suls & Tesch, 1978). Research further indicates that thinking about others who are less fortunate increases our sense of happiness. In one study, college women saw vivid images of those with terrible lives. Afterwards, the women reported feeling happier in their own lives (Dermer et al., 1979). Research further suggests that when someone who is depressed reads about an individual who has a more severe form of depression, the person experiences a boost in mood (Gibbons, 1986). Therefore, we construct happiness in part due to our relational understanding of those around us. Through such social comparison, we feel satisfied [and perhaps relieved and grateful] or deprived [and perhaps bitter and envious]." - www.boundless.com
[https://www.boundless.com/psychology/emotions/examining-happiness/how-does-social-comparison-affect-our-level-of-happiness/ ]
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[Quote No.48044] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Framing [is a term in psychology which] involves the way in which we think about an issue or concept, which affects the way we respond to it. ... A frame in social theory consists of a scheme of interpretation, which is a collection of anecdotes and stereotypes [or comparisons]. Individuals rely on this to understand and respond to events. In simpler terms, people build a series of mental filters with biological and cultural influences. They use these filters to make sense of the world. As such, the choices they then make are influenced by their creation of a frame. In psychology, framing is influenced by the background of a context choice and the way in which the question is worded. For example, when one seeks to explain an event, the understanding often depends on the frame referred to [and-or compared to]. ... if the same information is presented in two different ways, the response is not the same. For example, a surgeon might tell some patients that they have a 10% chance of dying and tell others that they have a 90% chance of surviving. Those patients who hear the 10% version feel as though there is a greater risk of dying than those who hear the same information presented more positively (Marteau, 1989; McNeil et al., 1988; Rothman & Salovey, 1997). [Another example of this would be whether you compare your experience for example with something better and feel disappointed and bitter or compare it with something worse and thereby feel pleased and grateful.]" - www.boundless.com
[https://www.boundless.com/psychology/cognition/importance-of-mindset/framing/ ]
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[Quote No.48045] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Common sense suggests that reality can be discovered. In contrast, constructivism postulates that what we call reality is a personal interpretation, a particular way of looking at the world acquired through communication [comparison and language]. Reality is therefore, not discovered, but literally invented. [It can also be postulated that after the basic physical needs are satisfied, happiness is a function of imaginative comparison - so comparing what have with something better engenders bitterness, unhappiness and dissatisfaction while comparison what have with something worse creates gratitude, happiness and satisfaction. Refer the psychological terms of 'framing' and 'social comparison'] " - Paul Watzlawick

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[Quote No.48061] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Habituation: As humans, we get used to things. Something that is new and incredibly exciting can become boring. This tendancy to have decreased repsponsiveness to something is habituation (you might also hear someone say that you get habituated to something). For example, there may be a painting or picture you really like so you put it on the wall in your room. You see this picture every day, 10 times a day. Over time and repeated exposures to this picture you might start feeling like you've 'seen it a million times' and it just doesn't have the same effect on you that it used to. This is habituation. [Habituation is a form of 'taking things for granted' and no longer appreciating and being grateful for them as much as we did. To avoid this it is necessary to take the time and make the effort to consciously compare and contrast the thing with its opposite and its absence.] " - www.alleydog.com
[http://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.php?term=Habituation ]
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[Quote No.48064] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty [what is positive that they can be grateful for] in every age of life really never grows old." - Franz Kafka
writer
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[Quote No.48076] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Count blessings rather than burdens." - Proverb

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[Quote No.48098] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you..." - Brian Tracy

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[Quote No.48138] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"...you will be doing your heart and mind a favor by seeking some reasons to be thankful, even if they are minute, even if you can come up with only one thing. Thankfulness typically begins with one small step, and that usually grows to another. According to research, gratitude can help you cope with challenges and loss. Maybe, despite your situation, you can find a reason to be thankful about something, or anything, in your life. Maybe, once you start, you can release a little of the hurt or grief or anger or despair or emptiness, and replace just a little of that space with one pebble of gratefulness. And, maybe you can be in the midst of the hard places and at the same time, have gratitude for someone or something." - Esther Heerema
[http://alzheimers.about.com/b/2013/11/24/how-can-thankfulness-exist-in-the-middle-of-coping-with-alzheimers.htm?nl=1 ]
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[Quote No.48148] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Feeling sorry [and pity] for yourself, and your present condition [rather than gratitude that things aren't worse], is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have." - Dale Carnegie

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[Quote No.48159] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. [The person sitting in the shade now should be grateful for the person who planted and tended that tree. That includes all those benefactors of humanity throughout history that created, invented, financed, produced, maintained and improved all that we enjoy today.]" - Warren Buffett
One of the richest men in the world.
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[Quote No.48175] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude." - A.A. Milne
'Winnie-the-Pooh'
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[Quote No.48212] Need Area: Fun > Gratitude
"If I sound like a Pollyanna, so be it — I happen to be one of her biggest disciples. She was a positive [grateful] thinker who was definitely ahead of her time. I didn’t always feel this way. Like most people, I considered Pollyanna a pejorative word used to describe someone whose cheerfulness gets under your skin. Webster’s describes a Pollyanna as ‘a person characterized by irrepressible optimism.’ In other words, an unctuous bore. Even the Gershwin brothers couldn’t resist taking aim at her in their cynical love song, ‘But Not for Me’: ‘Don’t want to hear from any cheerful Pollyannas Who tell you fate supplies a mate It’s all bananas.’ Sorry, George and Ira, but Pollyanna isn’t all bananas. There are plenty of studies showing that being optimistic not only makes people happier, it makes them healthier. Optimism is one of the most common traits among long-lived people. My Pollyanna conversion came just weeks after 9/11, when the world looked particularly bleak. I was doing an interview with Dr. Daniel G. Amen, the California neuropsychiatrist who wrote the bestselling ‘Change Your Brain, Change Your Life’. Amen is known for looking on the bright side of life by getting rid of our ANTS — ‘automatic negative thoughts.’ ‘How,’ I asked him, ‘can one live his or her life in a positive, upbeat manner without appearing Pollyannish?’ ‘What’s wrong with that?’ he replied. ‘I tell all of my patients to read ‘Pollyanna’ or rent the movie. It’s worth at least three visits to my office.’ Really? I was taken aback. ‘It’s about a way to think,’ he continued. ‘If we all thought that way, we’d be healthier as individuals and as a society.’ You don’t take that kind of advice lightly, not from someone who has scanned tens of thousands of brains. So I decided to read ‘Pollyanna’, which was available over the shelf and without a prescription. I got a copy of the children’s classic at my local bookstore. First published in 1913, the book has spawned 16 sequels — though only the first one is by Pollyanna's creator, Eleanor H. Porter, who died in 1920. The book has also been the inspiration for several American and British TV series and three movies, including a 1960 release starring Haley Mills and a 1913 silent version with Mary Pickford. Pollyanna is the story of an orphaned 11-year-old girl who is sent to live with her unwelcoming spinster aunt in a Vermont town. Even in the worst of situations, Polyanna manages to FIND SOMETHING TO BE GRATEFUL FOR, which affects everyone she meets. In the first few chapters of the book, I saw what Amen was getting at: Pollyanna was a problem solver who thought outside the box. Shortly after arriving at her aunt’s house, she looks for someone to play ‘the glad game.’ Taught to her by her missionary father, the game consists of finding something to be happy about in every situation. It originated one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll, got a pair of crutches by mistake. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna’s father told her to be glad about the crutches because ‘we didn’t need to use them!’ Pollyanna’s means of coping in her new environment is to invoke her late father’s philosophy. Credit him with giving her the recipe for making lemonade out of lemons. When Aunt Polly puts her niece in a stuffy attic room instead of a bedroom, she exults at the view from the window. When Aunt Polly punishes Pollyanna for being late for dinner by sentencing her to eat bread and milk in the kitchen with Nancy, the servant, Pollyanna thanks her profusely. She tells her she likes bread and milk, and she likes Nancy. Pollyanna isn’t selfish about sharing her positive-thinking survival strategy, and in time she teaches the townsfolk how to play the glad game. When a gardener complains about being old and stooped, she tells him to consider himself lucky because he doesn’t have to bend so far to do the weeding. When a housemaid complains that she hates Monday mornings, Pollyanna tells her that’s when she should be the happiest: It’s an entire week before the next Monday. ... Ever since reading ‘Pollyanna’, I’ve been playing ‘THE GLAD GAME.’ It's a challenge — and fun — to find something positive in every negative situation." - John Stark
[http://www.nextavenue.org/blog/think-positive-be-happier-invaluable-lessons-pollyanna?utm_campaign=Nov.21.2013.Newsletter_NA&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua ]
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