I’m slowly reading this great book called Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness, by Forrest Hanson and Rick Hanson. I wanted to share these awesome bullet points about gratitude. I need to remember these!
- We seek to feel good in the future, but this is often stressful in the present. Poignantly, the pursuit of happiness can push it out of reach. With gratitude, we feel good already.
- Giving thanks for what is beneficial does not prevent us from seeing what is harmful. In fact, the ways that thankfulness supports physical and mental health make us more resilient and more able to deal with challenges.
- Pleasure is easy to dismiss, but it is a rapid way to lower stress or to disengage from an upset. Wholesome pleasures crowd out unwholesome ones. The more you feel already full of pleasure, the less you’ll strain for it outside yourself.
- Because of the negativity bias, we notice when we fail to reach a goal while missing the fact that meanwhile we’re succeeding at hundreds of other goals. Look for opportunities to feel successful many times each day. Take in these experiences and use them to compensate for and heal feelings of failure or inadequacy.
- If you can be happy about the happiness of others, you can find a lasting happiness.
We have a tradition of coming up with resolutions for the new year. In that spirit, here are some things that I want to work on this year, and probably much longer than that!
I want to let love be a guiding principle in my life, and I want to let go of fear whenever I can. This idea feels good and right to me. I don’t have well-defined plan how exactly how to accomplish this. But I’m reading some good books about it, and I believe some of my other areas of focus for the year will help me.
I want to become more mindful and meet each moment with my deepest values. Inherent in this idea is the need to define my deepest values. This sounds like a lot of work, but I think there are some truly meaningful rewards to be found here.
I want to live my life more intentionally. I want to examine my automatic scripts that I use in my daily life and rid myself of the ones that really don’t serve me. I want to be responsive instead of reactive.
This one is not a unique New Year’s resolution: I want to make care of my physical self a bigger priority. A long time ago, I got the idea that physical talents weren’t my strength. I think this core idea has allowed me to justify not focusing on physical fitness. But as I find myself smack dab in middle age, I think it would serve me to focus on fitness so that I can continue to do the things that I enjoy. There’s also this crazy possibility that I could gain physical skills and abilities!
I hope that you have a wonderful new year! And I also wish that we all are successful working towards the goals that we choose to pursue!