Did you know there is a one-way ticket to your happy place? It’s not easy at first, but as you practice this very important happy skill, your mindset and emotional well being will skyrocket. Of course, I’m talking about gratitude.
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Hello team happiness. It is so good to be with you today. Before we dive in, I wanted to give the disclaimer that I actually recorded this episode a week and a half ago, just in time for Thanksgiving, but due to some technical difficulties. And a few things that came up with our family, our little guy caught RSV and, uh, our world kind of turned upside down there for a few days. I was not able to get this out, so thanks for your patience and thanks as always for your support and for spreading the message.
That. We share here on the happiness playbook so with that let's dive in Did you know, there is a one-way ticket to your happy place. It's not easy at first, but as you practice this very important, happy skill, your mindset and emotional wellbeing will skyrocket. Of course, I'm talking about gratitude buckle up because we got a lot of awesome stuff to talk about on today's episode of the happiness play. 📍
It is so good to be with you today for all of those in the United States, celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are surrounded with loved ones and just feeling gratitude in your heart. And I am so grateful to be here having this conversation with you and involving you in our happiness practice.
In today's highlight reel. We read a school bus load of 21 New Jersey teens in seventh and eighth grade traveled to volunteer for community service, serving seniors in inspiring neighbors with their good deeds. So get this, there's a nonprofit called I want to mow your lawn incorporated, which was started over the pandemic last summer.
Brian's Schwartz founded. I want to mow your lawn after getting laid off from his advertising job. We are now in 35 states with over 150 volunteers, he told G and N this week. So what they do is they go around and they mow senior citizens, lawns free of charge, and they are making a huge impact. What a great example of looking outward and making the world a better place.
And that's what makes the difference. Folks. In what ways can you look outward and make the world a better place? What a great story. Last week we discussed working out your playful muscles by thinking of one metaphorical vine to let go of in order to continue swinging through the jungle of life.
So what habit is holding you back? What mindset prevents you from believing in yourself and others? Those were a few of the questions that we asked, and I am curious to know what vines did you let go of to swing forward and make progress in your life? One that I decided to let go of was my independence.
I'm a very independent individual. And I sometimes let that prevent me from opening up and allowing others to, to serve me and work on things with me, which sounds weird, but I want to allow other people into my life and projects. And so that was one thing that I wanted to let go of.
All right, team huddle up. I want to share with you some awesome words from our very own Ellie Farley, who is on team happiness and had some very kind things to say. Ellie said, play theory is awesome. With two exclamation points, I've been using it for the past five or six years. The happiness playbook reminds me to apply play theory in my everyday life.
They discuss so many subjects that are so applicable to all people. I'm so grateful for the super cool podcast, and we are so grateful for your super cool soul. And for you being on team happiness. Thank you for spreading the love. Thank you for your kind words.
And as always, if you would like to share some of the love and leave a five-star review on apple podcasts, that helps us out a ton. So thank you very much. And let's dive in to our play-by-play.
Last week. I mentioned one tip for casting darkness out of your life and claiming happiness. So what is that one? Tip that one key in. It's gratitude. Now don't turn off the podcast just yet. Stick with me. I know gratitude sounds cliche. Especially this time of the year in the U S as I mentioned, where we're celebrating Thanksgiving, you might be ready to tune me out when the word gratitude is mentioned, but let's take a quick look at why gratitude is the best skill to develop in order to practice happiness.
Gratitude is like miracle grow for play theory and for happiness, as you lean into gratitude, it helps you be more present. It grounds you in the moment and, and recognize what you have and what you're grateful for. It helps you let go and play. It helps you brush off the stuff that's hard and just focus on the gratitude for what you do have, and it helps you accept what you have and build on that rather than.
Long for the things that you don't have, or the undesirable circumstances in your life. And of course, gratitude always turns you outward and helps you look outward. It really is in a lot of ways, a powerful preceding step to all of the principles of play theory that we talk about here on the podcast. At its core gratitude is the expression of appreciation for what one has.
It is a recognition of value, independent of monetary worth spontaneously generated from within it is an affirmation of goodness and warmth. Wow. It sounds so awesome. And it really is this social emotion. Strengthens relationships and its roots run deep in evolutionary history. So if you actually go back in time, it emanates from the survival value of helping others and being helped in return.
And there's a lot of psychology that goes into gratitude and why at a deeper subconscious psychological level, it is so powerful, but studies show that specific areas of the brain. Are involved in experiencing and expressing gratitude. And they actually have done lots of brain scans of people assigned a task that stimulates expression of gratitude, and they show lasting changes in the prefrontal cortex that heightened sensitivity to future experiences of gratitude.
So it really is a very profound. A muscle that needs to be exercised. And as you strengthen that muscle in your brain is one of the most important muscles. Arguably the most important muscle in your body, this gratitude actually becomes easier and it's just this vicious, happiness cycle of gratitude, where you practice experiencing it and expressing it more.
And then you have a heightened sensitivity to gratitude in the future. And it's a really good thing. So let's dive into some of the real benefits here of gratitude, and you might know some of this, but again, it's a helpful reminder of why gratitude is so important. There are actually. Physiological emotional, mental and spiritual benefits to gratitude.
This is really important stuff.
Gratitude is a rather spontaneous feeling, but increasingly research demonstrates its value as a practice. Well, we love that word practice here on the happiness playbook. Don't we.
And to be clear, what that really means is making conscious efforts to count one's blessings. As you get intentional about pointing out, identifying and expressing gratitude for what you have. The studies are clear that people can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and there are important social and personal benefits to doing.
One of the greatest things about gratitude is that it is a habit that can be practiced. That any time it doesn't matter where you are, it doesn't matter what circumstances you are in.
It doesn't matter how dire or, or depressing the circumstances are that you find yourself in gratitude is something you can whip out at a moment's notice that can totally transform your emotional state and the outcome of the situation. In Victor, Frankel's famous book, man's search for meaning. He talks about gratitude and how important it was even in one of the most depraved circumstances that humanity has ever known a concentration camp that he was able to get through that.
And gratitude is one of the key factors that he attributes to his survival. The benefits of practicing gratitude are immense there's a huge list of the benefits, but just a few of them are an improved mood, increased sense of purpose and lower levels of stress.
These are huge benefits. And as I mentioned earlier, this gratitude principle precedes and camp. Multiply and help you gain momentum with any of the foreplay theory, principles being present. Let go and play, accept and build look outward. They all benefit from gratitude. So it's so important that we are practicing gratitude.
Now, how do we practice gratitude? Well, there are a lot of ways to practice gratitude. Some of those include journaling. I have a planner. I called the on-purpose planner. And every day when I plan my day, there are three slots for three things that I can write down to be grateful for.
And I have a personal rule that I cannot repeat anything. So if I remember writing down something I was grateful for, then I have to, I have to think of something else. And it's been so awesome. I've been doing this for about a year now and just really. Digging deep on the little things that I'm grateful for has made a huge difference in me practicing and, developing that muscle of gratitude.
Meditating and thinking and pondering on things you're grateful for is another great way to practice gratitude and simply saying thank you and writing. Thank you notes to others who have benefited you or served you in some way. These are amazing ways to practice the skill of gratitude,
Another great benefit of practicing gratitude is improving your relationships with others as well as yourself as you flex this muscle of gratitude. As you reflect on what you're grateful for express that gratitude to others, it's going to help you see life from a different perspective.
And this paradigm shift leaning into gratitude is such a better vibration and energy than thinking. And really look outward is at its core, right? For gratitude. It's helping you reflect on what others have done for you, what you've received and less on what you want. When we feel thankful for what we have in our lives, instead of focusing on what's missing or not perfect about our lives, it enables us to be more accepting and content with what we have and who we are and what.
Lean into that gratitude and accept our surroundings and not only accept them, but express love and gratitude for what we have, that transformation is going to be radiant. Gratitude is contagious. And when those around you see how much happiness gratitude brings into your life, they are going to want to try it as well.
Have you ever been around someone that just has this light emanating from them? That is. Always attributed to gratitude. Gratitude is at the core of positivity and happiness. And without gratitude, we will be miserable. And we are not about the misery playbook here. That's not the name of our show and that's not the name of our movement or what we're about.
We want happiness and gratitude as a source of our intentions actions. And thoughts is going to help you be happy
for our play of the week. I want you to try the gratitude list and I want you to brainstorm gratitude, but not for the big things. Not for the easy things. It's easy to express gratitude for your family. You should express gratitude for your family, for your friends.
If you believe in a higher. Being, you know, you obviously should express gratitude for all of these things and having a house that I want you to stretch yourself a little bit. And I want you to see and express gratitude in the little thing. So I want you to make a list. I want you to set a timer for two minutes and brainstorm all of the little things that you are grateful for.
And some examples could be, uh, my matching socks. It could be a lint roller. It could be. Barbecue sauce, whatever it is, there's nothing too little or seemingly insignificant to express gratitude for.
The beauty about finding the little small things to express gratitude for is that's going to help you practice seeing and experiencing gratitude on a micro scale in your day-to-day life. And that is where you're going to get a huge return on your investment of time and energy into this skill of. 📍
whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving and sharing things you're grateful for over a dinner table, or you are just feeling downtrodden and heavy, maybe about things you're going through right now. I know that gratitude is going to help you develop the skill of happiness and be a better team player. In this game of life that we're playing, it will help you be more present.
Let go and play, accept and build. And of course help you look outward and make your partners in life. Look, and feel their best here's to expressing and developing the skill of gratitude and happiness. Thank you for joining me today. And I cannot wait to visit with you next week in our practice. Until then
remember that happiness is a skill and life is a team sport catching next week.