#8 Gratefulness and Feeling Good
There is a saying that negative thoughts are like Velcro. They stick in the brain and linger. Positive thoughts are more like Teflon. We think them and then they disappear. They don’t stick around very long they slide and decay rapidly.
One antidote for this has been studied by positive psychologists who have found that the act of being grateful can counteract this dilemma. In fact they have found that gratefulness has a lasting impact, not just hours or days but months. They have also found that it impacts not only negative thoughts but also depression. Gratefulness improves immune function, increases stress resistance, and improves ones sense of self worth. It also has been shown to increase our enjoyment of the present moment! This is huge and tells us that we all need to be working on cultivating our own gratefulness.
Write a letter to someone you know that you feel deserves your thanks and appreciation that you have yet to express. Let them know in the letter how grateful you are for what they have done. Send it and watch what it does to you. For a bonus, scientists have found that if you read the letter to the person aloud the impact is even greater.
It might be a friend, a family member, a coach for your children’s sports or whoever you feel grateful to.
Give it a try and be ready to feel better!
Tom Golden is the author or three books, Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing, The Way Men Heal, and Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons: UnderStanding the Unique World of Boys. Tom was the creator of the youtube channel Men Are Good and served as the vice chairman of the Maryland Commission for Men’s Health. He has been a therapist in private practice for over 30 years.