Emotions and thoughts come and go like the weather. In the midst of life, we experience feelings on the spectrum from desirable to undesirable, and from easy to challenging, most very day. Abundant research has shown that mental health is every bit as vital to wellbeing as physical health, and yet our emotional struggles can make us feel isolated and/or ashamed. These “secondary” feelings only compound our challenges. Our longings for contentment and happiness can feel overwhelming, especially if we have no roadmap. Yes, in so many ways, we have far more agency than we know or use.
Grateful Living can help us reorient to our mind – to become more accepting, compassionate and curious about our thoughts and feelings. And we can work with habits of the mind, as opposed to against them; learning with awareness from all of our moment-to-moment thoughts and feelings. Cultivating gratitude can bring about this sort of shift in perspective. As Br David says, “It is not happiness that makes us grateful; it is gratefulness that makes us happy.”
Try a Sample Practice: Healing Hard Feelings
(New York Times, July 2015) “A few weeks ago, in the country, far from the lights of the city, I saw the entire sky “powdered with stars” (in Milton’s words); such a sky, I imagined, could be seen only on high, dry plateaus like that of Atacama in Chile… It was this celestial splendor that suddenly made me realize how little time, how little life, I had left. My sense of the heavens’ beauty, of eternity, was inseparably mixed for me with a sense of transience — and death.”
This site (which is in essence a digital book) was created for those who struggle internally. Author Kent Hoffman writes that a shift can occur from: “I think I’m alone in this pain,” to “Others feel this way,” to “My suffering makes sense and I have new options I didn’t quite recognize before.”
Abundant research has shown that mental health is every bit as vital to wellbeing as physical health, and yet our emotional struggles can make us feel isolated and/or ashamed. These “secondary” feelings only compound our challenges. Our longings for contentment and happiness can feel overwhelming, especially if we have no roadmap. The following is a list of books — “roadmaps,” if you like, which we have found enlightening, affirming, or helpful, and for which we are grateful.
If you knew yourself for even one moment, if you could just glimpse your most…
(The Atlantic, July 2015) In 1992, the neuroscientist Richard Davidson got a challenge from the Dalai Lama. By that point, he’d spent his career asking why people respond to, in his words, “life’s slings and arrows” in different ways. Why are some people more resilient than others in the face of tragedy? And is resilience something you can gain through practice?
(On Being, 2015) “Race is a little bit like gravity,” john powell says: experienced by all, understood by the few. He is an esteemed legal scholar and thinker who counsels all kinds of people and projects on the front lines of our present racial anguish and longings. Race is relational, he reminds us. It’s as much about whiteness as about color. And it largely plays out, as we’re learning through new science, in our unconscious minds.
(2007) In this video, Nancy Slonim Aroni shows how her rich, many-layered life could not be so without the anguish and sorrow alongside her love and joy.
A show about the subjects we would struggle with less if we could talk about them more.
Scientific research proves that meditation and mindfulness both prevents and reduces the risk for stress related illnesses. The Mindfulness App has what you need to get the scientifically proven benefits for your health that meditation and mindfulness brings.
(Greater Good Science Center, 2013) It’s easy to feel grateful when life is good, says Robert Emmons. But when disaster strikes, gratitude is worth the effort.
(2015) Dr. Amit Sood, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a well-respected researcher and practitioner of integrated medicine, put together the following short on how to cultivate a (very) happy brain. It’s backed by an evidence base, and it’s powerful. So go ahead and give his lessons a try. It’s the doctor’s orders.
In recent years, science has explored the impact of feeling grateful on our health, sleep, relationships and more. For a deep dive into the particulars of why living gratefully matters, we offer this list of studies.
What does grateful living have to do with death and dying? They are two sides of the same coin, one inextricably informing the other. Awareness of our mortality can heighten our ability to live into the exquisite preciousness of life, and living each moment as the gift that it is, informs our experience of the approach of life’s end.
(2011) Br. David shares how he discovered meditation, how nature’s calming influence helps, how he perceives the quiet, and how stillness pertains to action.
How could anyone read the news headlines of this past week, month, or year, and feel grateful? I fall prey to doubt. Reconciling this conundrum is a focus of mine almost every day lately.
“I don’t feel anger against the perpetrators, only confusion and pity and sadness. I also don’t take credit for not feeling anger. It’s simply the natural course my mind and heart have taken… I’m grateful for this grace.”
A story of an inner journey – sparked by an accident on a river trip – that uncovers the depths of awareness and compassion.
like this morning, when the wild geese came squawking, flapping their rusty hinges, and something…
This three-part article explores the importance of shared values and action at a time when the very survival of the human race depends upon them.
(2:10) Why does being grateful make you happy?
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