Building Resilience through Gratitude

I was leading a workshop last month on happiness and like many of my workshops, when I got to the section on cultivating gratitude, many heads started nodding. It makes sense. If sustained positive emotion will lead to happier lives, then we should practice gratitude to build positive emotion and become happier. Sounds simple enough, right? And yet, this is often very hard for us. When was the last time you expressed gratitude to someone? Not in your gratitude journal or mentally in your mind, but actually shared with someone how grateful you are for them?

This video shows participants in an experiment doing just that. Calling up someone that has influenced them to express their gratitude. Watch to see their reactions and how this increases their happiness.

Imagine if more of us started doing this? This blog explains what happens in our brains when practicing gratitude. So we know it has the potential to rewire our brains and make us happier, but also think of the positive impact we could have on other people’s lives. What if at the end of the school year, you told each of your students why you are grateful for them? And what if you called home and shared this gratitude with their parents/guardians? Imagine what a phone call like that could do. This simple act of cultivating gratitude has the power to change lives.