Yesterday, something strange, stressful and very unusual happened that knocked me for a loop. Knowing that I have work to do and knowing that life is like a rodeo and you get thrown every so often. When I’m stressed, I go all cowgirl, she’s my inner warrior. When I need to dust myself off, I do a deep gratitude dive.
Gratitude Diving Explained
Gratitude diving is taking time out of your life, blocking an hour to stop thinking about all the crud and blah-blah-blah in your life and do something to show your thanks and gratitude to another human being. Gratitude diving involves thanking another person for a specific thing that they did. Thanking nature is a different thing. Gratitude diving is thanking another person for a specific thing they did or said.
Gratitude Leads to Optimism
Expressing gratitude, saying thank you, to other people for their actions and words is gratitude. Michael J. Fox says, "Optimism is really rooted in gratitude," he says. "Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance. Accepting that this thing has happened, and you accept it for what it is. It doesn't mean that you can't endeavor to change. It doesn't mean you have to accept it as a punishment or a penance, but just put it in its proper place. Then see how much the rest of your life you have to thrive in, and then you can move on."
Gratitude is being studied by Serious Scientists
Positive Psychology is the study of what helps people improve, maintain, and achieve positive mood, attitude, health, and mental wellness. It is named Positive Psychology because Psychology is the study of mental illness, it focuses on reducing symptoms. Positive Psychology says, everyone has a little happy in them, let’s draw it out and make it bigger to help them cope with life. Positive Shift uses a positive psychology model, that’s why Gratitude is important in my life.
Benefits of Gratitude
Positive Psychologist studying gratitude, like Martin Seligman, have shown that gratitude can improve mental and physical health. Andrea Brandt writes in Psychology Today that keeping a daily gratitude journal improves mood and lowers stress. She notes that people are reluctant to give thank you notes, but these gracious gestures are usually appreciated more than the sender realizes. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/mindful-anger/201807/science-proves-gratitude-is-key-well-being)
For the individual:
- increased happiness and positive mood
- more satisfaction with life
- less materialistic
- less likely to experience burnout
- better physical health
- better sleep
- less fatigue
- lower levels of cellular inflammation
- greater resiliency
- encourages the development of patience, humility, and wisdom
Gratitude and PTSD
Gratitude diving is taking time out of life to search out people to thank. Little trickier in a pandemic when you are immune compromised.
Gratitude diving is the only way I know to find my way back when PANIC begins to overwhelm my senses. I have a PTSD hangover. I was diagnosed with PTSD 4 years ago and did a lot of work to calm my nervous system so I don’t jump like a cat near a cucumber all the time. I lived with a wild startle reflex, which gets even wilder when you add Multiple Sclerosis to the mix. Creative Arts helps calm my system and so does gratitude diving.
Gratitude Diving is thanking someone for something they did or said.
How to Avoid the Creepy Thank You
It is a little risky, people you know sort of but not really well might a little weirded out when you say thank for being so kind and wonderful, and when I was down, I thought of you and I was inspired. That freaks people out.
Low Risk Gratitude Diving
Low Risk gratitude diving is easy if you use social media. Here are the destructions:
Block an hour of your time, no calls, conversations, planning thoughts, nothing but whatever social media platform you have open. I use FaceBook, it’s the easiest to find things to thank people for. Someone posts something that you Love, write why you love it in the comment. Tell them what it reminds you of, how it is helping you, make it personal, honest, and about them. I saw your picture today and it reminded me of the 3 Little Birds song by Bob Marley that says, Everything’s gonna be alright. Thank you, I was a little down, and seeing you 3 Little Birds smiling together in your home lifted my spirits. Have a wonderful day and thank you for sharing.
Take the time to say thank you and explain how their post helped you.
That is the simple way I gratitude dive, I use social media to help increase my ability to increase my optimism and resilience/ability to cope by posting gratitude comments on Facebook that explain how they helped me with their post. Gratitude diving is directly thanking someone for their action or words. Enough of the preaching, get out there have fun, say thank you to someone, and enjoy yourselves.
What happens when your gratitude goes nowhere.