Welcome back to another episode of the YouSchool podcast. I'm Scott Schimmel. And each week we talk through these big critical questions in life that every single person needs to answer in order to build a foundation for a meaningful life, you can go to school and do really good. And know lots of answers to lots of questions, but still miss out on the critical ones. Today we're talking about maybe, I mean, it's almost so obvious. It gets overlooked. And the question is this, what are you grateful for? What are you thankful for? So imagine that we would ask a young person upon graduating high school, that this question, what are you grateful for? Tell us about it. Tell us about what you're thankful for. Because it supposes that they feel grateful for something they've noticed and recognized, that they've received, they've been the recipients of gifts. Now, this is certainly good for manners. This is certainly good for friendships we're going to talk about. But it's also really grounded in science, which today, in just five or six minutes, we're going to do a pretty deep dive into the science of the practice of gratitude. Because the opposite of it is taking life for granted. Which is the worst, which leads to a whole host of problems. leads to frustration leads to depression, it leads to feeling hopeless, like you're not in charge. You're not in control of your life. It leads you to being rude and insensitive. Just last night, I corrected one of my kids, when my wife asked them if they wanted something with their dinner. And they said no, rather than no thank you, or no, I'm not, you know, I don't feel like that tonight is just a no. So I let them know that taking your your mom's cooking in service to you for granted is not going to fly in our casa. What's the opposite? It's taking life for granted and it comes through with this idea of entitlement or ingratitude it really seems like that person is self centered. If you think of somebody that you know that just not grateful. Oftentimes they're young. Or they're immature, right? That's, you don't think of a mature, healthy, happy, good to be around person who's filled with gratitude. You think of the opposite shallowness shallow relationships, you don't necessarily trust them. You feel like perhaps they use others. And the interactions with him feel more like expectations, not like gifts. It's perhaps a family member who demands you to show up and spend time together. Never thinks you for it. And it just kind of ruins the vibe, am I right? I'm sure that's just me. Expressing gratitude is a cue for someone for you to live in reality. Reality is everything is a gift. Expressing gratitude triggers you to become aware of the ways in which the world tips in your favor. From the oxygen you breathe to the food on your table, to the mobile device and the Internet and your hands. Being grateful. expressing it. It's the way for you to recognize the gifts in your life. It causes you to see things clearly to understand how much has been given to you, even if you find yourself in a difficult or painful circumstance or experience. So let's talk about developing habits of gratitude. But before we dig into what the habits are, let's talk a little bit about the science. I did a deep dive probably 2019 on the science of gratitude, I met a guy who runs this is my words. That's probably the wrong labels. He really he runs this big department runs this research team at the University of Southern California USC, and he was part of the first team that studied the human brain while practicing gratitude exercises. And this is a lot of the findings from that team and other research papers that I've found. Gratitude, practicing it makes you friendlier, more social, it improves your social relationships which is critical for young person for anybody. Why? Well negative people are hard to be around. They're just annoying. You don't want to be around them. On the flip side, becoming someone who frequently naturally expresses gratitude. Thank you for your time. It's so good to be together. Thank you for the gift. Thank you for treating for lunch. Thanks for thinking of me, those sorts of things will make you know easier to be around and actually improve your connections, your relationships,
practicing gratitude, it's proven. Just practicing simple gratitude exercises every day will make you healthier. A healthier person. People who keep a regular consistent habit of expressing gratitude are healthier and they live longer. That's not my opinion. That's fact that science, you will sleep better, experience less stress, lower your blood pressure, and make healthier choices about your diet and your lifestyle. No emotional eating. In other words, there are several reasons why one, when you express gratitude, your heart rate, and blood pressure decrease, which puts less stress on your overall system. Also, because you've experienced the positive chemicals released in your brain, when you practice gratitude, you're going to sleep better, which is obviously so important to overall good health. It also helps you deal with your negative feelings, which are often the trigger for people to make poor choices about their diet, and exercise. So you don't see that on a diet plan, do you practice gratitude, you'll be healthier, you'll lose weight, you'll sleep better. Third, grateful people are happier. Scientists studying Positive Psychology found that a one time act of thoughtful gratitude produced an immediate 10% increase in happiness. Now, maybe that's hard to measure, they figured it out. But if you want to be happy, if you're feeling sad, or feeling apathetic, bored, feeling like it's a lame moment, intentionally practice gratitude, you might get a 10% Bump. And when people do that, they'll get a 35% reduction in depressive symptoms. Gratitude blocks. Why does this work because it blocks uncomfortable negative emotions. You can't be envious or resentful, or regretful when you're when you're expressing gratitude. You can't be unhappy and happy at the same time. You can't have negative thoughts and positive thoughts simultaneously. In a study that I've read, gratitude can even reduce the frequency and duration, the experience of depression. So when you practice gratitude, you'll be less likely to search out there. For solutions, material items, people accomplishments to boost your mood, you'll find a source of contentment within you. So far, gratitude scientifically proven, makes you friendlier, healthier, happier, and more tougher. Everyone goes through hard times, there's no escaping it, you're you're going to experience loss, disappointment, grief, rejection, death in your life. And our lives are shaped not by the events themselves, but our response to them. Learning to practice gratitude through difficult moments, is not pollyannish. It's not waving a wand or a Jedi mind trick to convince yourself to avoid negative feelings. But it's a part of the both and to remember and recall the good parts as well as the bad parts, which will build and boost your resilience. Finally, practicing gratitude will make you smarter, wiser. As you practice gratitude, you are recalling the events of your life, which will help you integrate and see patterns, from your experiences and your thoughts. you'll not only be able to see patterns, looking backwards, you'll be able to pick those patterns up and project them into the future. So when it comes to making decisions, especially important ones, if you have a habit of practicing gratitude, you're going to make better choices. So are you with me, trying to make the case for practicing gratitude. Here's what it looks like. For our family. It's a really simple exercise. When we sit down for dinner, what are three things that you're grateful for today? In my journal, that's how I start the morning. What are things that I'm thankful for from yesterday, and I tried to think of circumstances, people, specific events, and then maybe some of the more abstract things. I'm grateful for a sense of purpose. I'm grateful for a sense of peace today. I'm grateful for the challenge that's going to come at 11 o'clock when I enter into that meeting, it's going to be filled with conflict. That's an opportunity for me to grow. Again, I'm not trying to fool myself, but it's true. Gratitude helps you live in reality. So there's no shortage of gratitude exercises. I would love to hear what works for you. Or especially if you work with kids, what they like what works in terms of getting them used to it and to enjoy it. But this is it. If you can imagine a life well lived without gratitude, then you're better than I am. I can't figure it out. I can't think about it. I want my kids to be grateful. I want to be grateful and I want that for you.
We're taking the mystery out of building a meaningful life with a step by step roadmap. In school, you're taught everything under the sun algebra to art history to aerodynamics, but you're not taught how to understand yourself, are given the tools to make sense of all the questions life throws your way. Without it, most people will take the path of least resistance, hoping it all just works out someday. That's why the YouSchool is here. for over 10 years, we've been specializing in designing transformative curriculum and learning environments to guide people through life's transitions to find, define and unleash great stories with their lives. You only get one life. You only get one story. Make sure it's the right one.
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