How grateful are you?

Episode 26 in Part 2 of our Introduction series: Getting to know yourself.

Habits:  Positive attitude | Giving

Skills:  Gratitude | Happiness

Description:  In this episode, we investigate the concept of gratitude and explain the many benefits that come with learning to be more grateful. We look at why playing too much Tetris can rewire your brain, and outline one really simple exercise that will help you to be happier, more optimistic and ultimately more grateful. 

 


 

Selective Attention Test - Video

Selective Attention Test Video

 

How this lesson might be applied in the classroom

This episode outlines the many benefits that come from learning to be more grateful. The act of being grateful, trains the brain to scan the world for more positive things, and this simple habit can:

  • Increase levels of optimism
  • Improve creativity
  • Lower stress levels
  • Increase motivation
  • Raise the ability to achieve goals
  • Improve physical health

As you become naturally more grateful simply by practicing gratitude, you receive further benefits such as:

  • Having more energy
  • Increased emotional intelligence
  • Being more forgiving
  • Less likelihood of being depressed, anxious or lonely

These amazing benefits can be achieved through the simple practice of writing down three things you are grateful for each day. This process trains the brain, through a process scientists call 'cognitive afterimage' to scan the world for positive items (i.e. things to be grateful for).

When discussing this episode, some prompts might include:

  • Why do you think something as simple as writing down what you're grateful for has so many benefits?
  • How easily do you think you could come up with things to be grateful for each day?
  • Do you think you have more or less to be grateful for than most people? Why?
  • Can you think of times when you haven't been as grateful as you could have been?
  • How did you feel at the time?
  • Can you think of times when you've been really grateful?
  • How did you feel then?

Some specific discussion points (repeated from previous episode)

Discussion around friends, family, celebrities, or current events featuring prominent individuals offers an opportunity to discuss people who are openly grateful and the impact it might have for them. There is also an opportunity to discuss gratitude in relation to charity or giving to those who have less than you?

Some possible questions may include:

  • Can you think of anyone, a friend, family member or famous person who is really grateful?
  • How do you think their gratitude has had an impact on their life? Why?
  • Do you think some people are just naturally grateful and others aren't? Why/Why not?
  • Do you think some people have more reason to be grateful than others? Why/Why not?
  • If you have less than someone else you know, do you think you should still be grateful? Why?
  • If you have more, should you be more grateful than someone who has less?
  • How do you think being more grateful for what you have might impact the decisions you make and the actions you take? Would that be a good or a bad thing?

Discussing the quote from this episode:

"When we are grateful for the good we already have, we attract more good into our life. On the other hand, when we are ungrateful, we tend to shut ourselves off from the good we might otherwise experience." — Margaret Stortz

Possible areas of discussion may include:

  • Do you believe this quote? Why/Why not?
  • Why do you think being grateful might attract more good into your life?
  • If we are ungrateful, how could this 'shut ourselves off from the good we might otherwise experience'?
  • Can you think of any area where you might want to be more grateful?

Further information on this topic

If you'd like to dive a bit deeper on this topic, you might be interested in watching:

 

Shawn Achor – The Happy Secret To Better Work

 

Or you might like to read:

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles That Fuel Success and Performance at Work.
by Shawn Achor, 2010.


Please let us know how we could improve this episode?

We're always keen to hear how our work can be improved. If you can think of anything we can do to improve either the delivery of our content, the content itself, the exercises, or our guides to how the lesson can be applied in the classroom, please let us know.