As people, we are hard-wired to have a negative bias. Being able to view events negatively and focus on the ‘worst-case scenario’ would have been helpful for our survival during our earlier human history, but less helpful now – particularly when it comes to our physical and mental health.
Research shows that gratitude based interventions, where people consciously focus on 1-2 things that they can be grateful for each day, has a significant impact on our mental AND physical health.
Physically, gratitude is associated with improved immune function, lower blood pressure, improved sleep, and reduced chronic pain.
Psychologically, gratitude is linked with increased levels of happiness, joy, alertness, resilience, and reduced stress.
Gratitude based interventions have also been found to have an impact on social relationships. People who practice daily gratitude report more satisfaction with their relationships, a deeper sense of connection with those around them and feel less lonely.
Hunting the Good Stuff is a neat way to shift your attention to purposely noticing and focusing on the good stuff that happens every day. It is about calling your brain to attention and making it work for you.
• Start a gratitude journal and make a note of three good things every day and why you appreciated them
• Do the 31-day gratitude challenge (or 365 days) where you take a photo of something that you are grateful for every day and post to Instagram, Facebook or other social media
• Make a note on a calendar of something positive every day so that you can look back on it over time.
• Start ‘Hunt the good stuff’ dinner conversations with you and your partner or family members. In these conversations, each family member needs to recall three positive things that happened that day and discuss why they were important to them.