How Gratitude Helps You in Hard Times

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It's not that difficult to feel grateful when things are going smoothly. But what about when they're not? What about when a relationship ends? Or you lose your job? Or you receive unfortunate news?

Gratitude can be a difficult quality to feel when you are really sad or unhappy, but as you'll read today, you can still be grateful even when you're not feeling particularly grateful. In fact, a consistent gratitude practice, through good times and bad, is one of the most powerful tools to improve your health and increase your happiness, and it's a practice you can start right now. Here's some inspiration...

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"...It is vital to make a distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful. We don't have total control over our emotions. We cannot easily will ourselves to be feel grateful, less depressed, or happy. Feelings follow from the way we look at the world, thoughts we have about the way things are, the way things should be, and the distance between those two points. But being grateful is a choice, a prevailing attitude that endures and is relatively immune to the gains and losses that flow in and out of our lives. When disaster strikes, gratitude provides a perspective from which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. Yes this perspective is hard to achieve--but my research says it is worth the effort."

-Dr. Robert Emmons on how gratitude can help you through hard times (greatergood.berkeley.edu)

"In fact, an attitude of gratitude can not only help you increase positive emotion, but also sustain it. Heck, ice cream can make us happy in the moment but gratitude leads to long-term happiness."

-Dr. Emma Seppälä shares 13 science-backed benefits of gratitude and a wonderful guided meditation (emmaseppala.com)

"...Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, the most fundamental practice to quickly transform your life -- any time of year -- is gratitude.  A deep and genuine sense of appreciation for what you have in your life."

-Marie Forleo shares one simple and effective gratitude practice in this week's episode of Marie TV (marieforleo.com)

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