By Robert Rudelic BS, NMT, MES
We have all heard from someone — mother, father, pastor, coach, etc. — that we should be grateful for what we have and that gratitude is a powerful tool in life but ….what does gratitude really mean?
Gratitude is a positive emotion that involves being thankful and appreciative and is associated with many mental and physical health benefits.
When you experience gratitude, you feel grateful for something or someone in your life and respond with feelings and actions of kindness, warmth, and other forms of generosity.
Most people want to feel good about how their life is going and behave in such a way that they continue to feel that way. So why don’t they, what is the biggest obstacle for a person to utilize gratitude in their lives?
A sense of entitlement is perhaps the greatest obstacle to gratitude and being grateful for all one has. “Research has shown that people who are ungrateful tend to have a sense of excessive self-importance, arrogance, vanity, and a high need for repeated admiration and approval,” writes Dr. Robert Emmons in his book Gratitude Works! July 1, 2018.
So, if you want more for your life, be happier, have better relationships, be more productive, build resilience and much, much more —
The Secret is > > > An Attitude of Gratitude!
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
- Having Gratitude makes you happier
- Gratitude makes people like you
- Gratitude makes you healthier
- Gratitude boosts your career
- Gratitude strengthens your emotions
- Gratitude develops your personality
- Gratitude makes you less self-centered
- Gratitude can keep you away from the doctor
It’s common advice to create a gratitude journal and spend a few minutes each day reflecting on the things you are grateful for. Spending just a few minutes each day in this mindset will produce an overall happier and more satisfying mood. You’ll feel grateful more often and the intensity will be stronger and last longer. Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools in your emotional tool box. I believe being grateful in short spurts throughout the day is far more powerful and easier to do.
I also believe that being grateful is a mindset and a skill, and the more aware you are of things to be grateful for and express your gratitude in the moment, the faster you’ll become happier and more grateful.
Gratitude generates social capital: (the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively). In two recent studies with 243 total participants, those who were 10% more grateful than average had 17.5% more social capital! Research consistently shows important benefits related to social capital, such as individuals with higher levels of social capital being happier and finding better jobs. Research also shows that people report better health and increased levels of trust in a community as a result of their positive relationships. Having gratitude makes you nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it can help you make more friends, deepen your existing relationships, and even improve your marriage.
Gratitude lowers cortisol, a stress hormone, in your body. Lowered cortisol levels help you avoid many physical and mental side effects of stress and improves overall physical health. Gratitude encourages pro-health behavior like exercising and paying attention to health risks. People who are grateful tend to sleep better and have fewer aches and pains. Expressing gratitude is associated with a host of mental and physical benefits. Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood and immunity. Gratitude can also decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and risk of disease. There is even reason to believe gratitude can extend your lifespan.
Gratitude makes you a more effective and positive leader or manager, helps you network, improves your decision making capabilities, increases your productivity, gain respect, and helps you attract accomplished mentors. As a result, gratitude helps you achieve your career goals, as well as making your workplace a more friendly and enjoyable place to be. Having a grateful mindset also changes biology. Positive acts benefit you by releasing oxytocin, a hormone that helps connect people. It is sometimes referred to as the love hormone. Those you connect with will also benefit from your kindness and appreciate the recognition of their efforts. Sharing kindness can make you healthier and happier.
Gratitude reduces feelings of envy, makes for happier memories, lets you experience good feelings, and helps you bounce back from stressful events. Gratitude is a way for you to appreciate what you have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make you happier or thinking you can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude is the antidote for feeling inadequate and comparing your-self to others. Gratitude helps you focus on what you have instead of what you lack.
It really does, and in potentially life-changing ways. You automatically become more optimistic and less attracted to material things. Gratitude builds emotional resilience by helping you to see the positive things in life and replacing pessimistic thoughts with optimistic ones. The act of gratitude is the act of focusing on the good in life. If you perceive your current life to have more good, you will also believe your future life to have more good. Optimism is correlated with gratitude because those with an optimistic personality are biologically more likely to focus on the good than on the bad and rise above personal disappointment, stress and anxiety, etc. Gratitude greatly increases self-esteem. Research shows that people who are more grateful also tend to have higher self-esteem. When you are aware of how others treat you and the good things they do for you, you develop a stronger sense of your own value.
Gratitude is about acknowledging others and their acts of kindness, resulting in reduced self-focus. It’s most likely why grateful people are admired and respected so much—rather than being occupied with themselves all the time; they show care and interest toward others. Gratitude and humility go hand in hand; they are mutually reinforcing. Expressing gratitude induces humility, and humility increases your capacity for experiencing and conveying gratitude. The more grateful you are, the more likely you are to help others. As your cup overflows, you feel a natural urge to help others.
Gratitude can’t cure cancer but it can strengthen your physiological functioning. Positive emotions improve health unlike the known link between a negative mental state and physical suffering. In a doctor-patient relationship the patient’s belief makes a world of difference as to that person’s health. What a doctor says and what the patient believes may be more closely tied to the patient’s outcome than what the doctor does physically.
If a doctor is warning about possible negative side effects increases the likelihood of the patient experiencing pain or suffering, as research consistently suggests will happen, the leading culprit is the patient’s mental state. Fear or a deep pessimism that they won’t get better can be the underlying enemy to health. The flip-side of the belief coin is the health benefit linked to a positive mental state.
According to a landmark review, positive expectations are associated with better health. Science Daily reported that the reviewers of more than 160 studies on the mind-body connection were shocked by the consistency they saw in the data. Over and over the evidence showed that a person’s positive beliefs are a strong influence for good on their health.
If the root driver of the body’s health, good or bad lies in what’s occupying your mind, it’s important to be much more alert to what’s tugging at you for attention. if you want to improve your health, improve your mind.
Gratitude is a positive emotion. It’s no far stretch that some of the benefits like better coping & management of terminal conditions, faster recovery from certain medical procedures, positive changes in immune system functioning, more positive health behavior, apply to gratitude as well.
In fact, some recent science shows just that — those who engage in gratitude practices have been shown to feel less pain, go to the doctor less often, have lower blood pressure, and be less likely to develop a mental disorder.
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”
• Attitude •
There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror
and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.
‘Well,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll braid my hair today.’
So she did and she had a wonderful day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror
and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.
‘Hmm,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.’
So she did and she had a grand day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed
that she had only one hair on her head.
‘Well,’ she said, ‘today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.‘ So she did, and she had a fun, fun day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and
noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head.
‘Yay!’ she exclaimed. ‘I don’t have to fix my hair today!’
• Attitude Is Everything•
Be kinder than necessary – everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
• The Gratitude Exercise Simplified •
Each day, when reflecting on the things you are grateful for; sit quietly and start tapping. Tap each point for 7-10 seconds then change to the next point and keep tapping throughout the exercise. While tapping, start with one thing you are grateful for, state it then state why you are so grateful and elaborate. When finished with the first thing you are grateful for, complete it with a fist pump and passionately say thank you! thank you! thank you! Then move to the next thing you are grateful for. Do this gratitude exercise for 10-15 minutes then spend a few minutes reflecting on what you just did.
This exercise can be done anywhere, anytime you are feeling grateful.
For more information, visit our PowerTapping page.
moving forward and on track!
By Robert Rudelic BS, NMT, MES
Mystery pain solved as well as lifelong mental blocks –
A new client came to me suffering from lower back pain and cervical pain that came up all of a sudden. Her friend told her about me and said “you need to see this guy”.
She was very fit, athletic and in her 40’s. After filling out her intake form we sat down and discussed her situation. She told me this pain started four months ago and she couldn’t figure out why. There was no injury or specific incident that triggered it.
I noticed on the intake that she was seeing a psychologist and I began asking her about what they were working on. Often when unexplained pain appears, stress, either emotional or situational is a key element in it. I mentioned this fact but she dismissed it immediately telling me she had been seeing a psychologist for over 20 years and talked through all of it. I did not press it any further and went back to exploring possible physical reasons for the sudden pain attack.
As we began to work I noticed the high level of tension in her whole body and how guarded she was. I had to do some work to quiet her nervous system and get her to relax. She became noticeably more relaxed when I started using the AAA Breathing Exercise that I developed and she started opening up about other aspects of her life. I then went back to testing her to see if I could pinpoint the cause of her pain. My gut was telling me there was a lot more to this than physical pain. I asked her if there had been any new developments or big changes in her life in the last 6 months. WOOOO! She immediately tensed up and started to cry uncontrollably. I began tapping her hand and instructed her to let it out. I kept this up for a several minutes, then, all of a sudden she stopped crying, sat up, looked at me and began telling me about a new relationship she was in and how her past was getting in the way. She said how they are tied together and somehow attached to her pain. It really caught her off guard – just imagine, she thought she had overcome this in therapy… but, she hadn’t.
I had her mirror me as I tapped on a different point and I lead her through several rounds of tapping. We worked for 90 minutes and in that time she laid out everything, and as she did we cleared all the traumas from her body. Every so often she would stop crying and say “WOW it’s gone, I don’t feel it anymore!” She was amazed that when I brought up incidents she had told me about earlier, she felt no anger or fear.
Without revealing her issues, she was stuck and had been so for months. She was falling in love with this man yet unable to be intimate with him. She told me she had been working with her therapist about all of this but never once felt this good afterwards. After the session was over she told me she had never told her therapist half of the stuff she revealed to me in just 90 minutes and it felt so natural. She was able to proceed with her relationship and was overjoyed. Oh, and her pain was almost completely gone within two days. I taught her an exercise that would help her maximize her time with her therapist who she really liked.
So the question is why did she get so much from just one session of coaching versus years of talking it out with her therapist?
Why people need one or the other –
We all need help from time to time especially when we are in a stressful state, situational chaos or emotionally and mentally overwhelmed. Getting unstuck and figuring out what to do and how to do it can seem impossible. That’s why coaching works so well in these situations. Its results orientated and has a high impact in a very short amount of time where talk-therapy is not designed to do that.
Priorities – fast results vs long term analyses
Coaching provides speed, thoroughness and the tools necessary to advance on your own. Understanding all the reasons why you’re in the predicament does not give you the tools needed to change your situation or your behavior and the time it takes to “figure it out” could jeopardize your ability to succeed or get what you need in a situation. It’s the difference between knowledge and knowing. Coaching leads to knowing based on results. Talk-therapy is knowledge based on a deeper understanding of why.
Which one is better for what type of problems?
What type of therapist you choose to see can make all the difference in the outcome of your situation. Coaching and psychotherapy (talk-therapy) are very different and focused on different outcomes.
What each one is and the strengths and weaknesses of each
Our tool sets and strategies are very different. From my point of view, coaching is intended to have a high impact in the shortest amount of time. It gives you the tools so you can roll up your sleeves and take immediate action. It’s meant to define the issue, determine the outcome you want then take action and get the results you want ASAP. Many of my clients see me for situational coaching so they don’t labor on figuring out all the whys before solving the situation or getting the needed change.
I believe psychotherapy (talk-therapy) is designed to bring awareness of the issues then delve into figuring out why your situation is the way it is. The therapist can help you to dig deep and see why you feel or behave a certain way in a situation. It’s mainly a mental exercise of exploration and that is what some are looking for, but for others it leaves them frustrated because the situation needs to change quickly, and they may not have the money to see someone on an ongoing basis. I liken it to “coaching gives you the “how-to’s to get your situation handled and psychotherapy gives you the understanding of why you’re in the situation in the first place.”
Both have a place in people’s lives, so how do you determine which one is right for you in your present situation?
Personality types and your choice
Money is almost always a factor. Psychotherapy can be covered for a limited number of sessions by some insurance companies but you have to deal with the company and often those sessions are used up before any resolution takes place. Coaching is not covered by most insurance companies.
Time is a factor for many people especially if the situation has an endpoint like the fear of an upcoming event, a divorce or self-destructive urges. Most people in these situations can’t afford to talk it out over a period of months or years because their situation is moving along and they need to be fully engaged to change it. Coaching is highly effective in these types of situations because it moves you quickly to solutions that make a difference in your outcome.
Personality also makes a difference. I’ve had clients who needed change immediately yet were more interested in knowing all the whys than actually taking action and getting things done. Unfortunately most of them get run over in the end yet felt ok because they were not ready to take action anyway (victim mentality). Others want to get on top of things as fast as possible and feel a sense of control over their lives. Waiting causes anxiety and mistakes in judgement. For them the whys come after they have gotten the results they wanted, when looking back the whys are self-evident.
Whichever approach you choose, make sure you’re going to get what you need in a timely manner and you learn how to handle yourself mentally and emotionally in the future without relying on others for help. In my coaching practice I teach my clients the tools to become their own best therapist and only when they’re really stuck would they need to seek out assistance. They are self-assured, confident and more emotionally composed than when they first came to me.
My prescription/recommendation and how to use it all together for amazing results
My approach to coaching is a combination of coach, motivator, accountability partner, investigative provocateur and good friend (as defined by the Eastern teaching of good friends/ bad friends.) My approach and personality is to address everything head on, disregard the opinions of others and have total self-responsibility for your thoughts, words and actions. Measure what you do by basing it on whether it creates value for yourself and others – or not.
It comes down to the type of tools that are used in coaching. My tool set includes tools that eliminate the emotional intensity of past experiences which create beliefs that produce sabotaging behaviors. Psychologists frequently focus on past experiences yet their tools are often inadequate at eliminating them permanently. My tool set has a high impact in a very short amount of time where psychological tools are not designed to do this. As stated in their definition of their profession, “they explore past experiences to define present behaviors then address them over a period of time” – not high impact in a short amount of time! So, it’s a choice to determine which approach is appropriate.
Coaching and Talk-Therapy are distinct in many ways and it’s important to draw a clear line between them.
Talk-Therapy generally speaking, is for people dealing with a psychological issue that undermines their ability to function in healthy and adaptive ways. The focus is retrospective and includes repairing damage from previous experiences.
Identifying and treating disorders and pathologies and alleviating symptoms through behavioral, cognitive or analytic interventions is the scope of Talk-Therapy.
Coaching, on the other hand, has a present/future orientation, focuses on goals and desired outcomes, draws on the client’s potential, strengths, and skills to maximize fulfillment in life and work. It can be broad based or singularly focused.
Even though both approaches rely on developing awareness, Talk-Therapy relies on awareness of past experiences to bring about improvement in the present, and Coaching sheds light into unseen possibilities and strengths therefore linking that awareness to action and results.
For more information about my coaching visit my coaching page and let’s see if we are a fit.
For more information, visit our PowerTapping page.