Science of Happiness – Gratitude

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Discover one of the most life altering happiness habits that can help you increase your happiness levels by up to 40%.

Hi everyone! I’m Kim Strobel. I do a lot of speaking across the country for schools, and conferences, businesses and organizations, and I talk a lot about The Science of Happiness. And what I want to do today, is I want to teach you one happiness habit that is going to have a huge effect on your life. 

So if you’ve watched any of my other videos, you may have discovered that 50% of our long term happiness is genetic and only 10% of our long-term happiness comes from our external circumstances. And what that means is that there’s 40% of the pie left, and every human being has the ability to increase their happiness levels by up to 40%. And that 40% has to do with our actions, our thoughts, and our behaviors. So I want to give you one happiness habit today. I’ve got so many to teach, but I’m going to give you one today that is going to have an effect on that 40%.

It’s the practice of gratitude. Now I know, we’ve all heard about gratitude. I’ve heard Oprah preach about gratitude for a very long time. But I want to tell you that the practice of gratitude is one of the top five happiness habits. And I’m going to tell you why it works because if you’re like me, you got to know why it works in order to implement it. 

So here’s what we know. If you are an average human being, you are having about 70,000 thoughts a day, 70,000! And if you’re an average human being, we know that 80% of those thoughts in a day’s time are negative which means that when most of us put our head on the pillow at night, we’ve had 56,000 negative thoughts. 

I know it’s crazy to think about, but think about it.  As soon as you wake up and your alarm goes off you’re like “oh I didn’t get enough sleep” and you get up. And you start walking into the bathroom, you’re like “oh my back hurts”. And like some of us have had 38 negative thoughts within the first 20 seconds of waking.

Now what’s really interesting about the research, is that of the 80% of thoughts that are negative in a day’s time – what we know – is that 95% of that 80% are the exact same thoughts you had the day before. They’re literally on rewind. They’re in your subconscious mind. They’re pinging so fast that you’re not even aware of them.

Now why is this? Why are we as humans wired towards negativity? Well it’s actually a protective mechanism. Back in archaic times, back in caveman and cavewoman times, we had this part of our brain called the amygdala. And the amygdala’s number one job was to scan for danger, to scan for negativity and it’s the very thing that protected us. I mean we literally had to know is there a saber-tooth tiger; will we be wiped out by this clan; is there shelter; will we make it through the night; do we have fire; do we have a water source. And so the amygdala is trained to constantly scan our environment looking for negativity so that we can protect ourselves.

The issue is that we still have an amygdala, but most of us do not have a saber-tooth tiger chasing us the next time we walk outside. So that is why we have all the negative thoughts. The reason gratitude is one of the top five happiness habits is because we know that it is a strong predictor of you rewiring your brain towards optimism versus pessimism.

Here’s what we know. When I can get you to write down three different things you’re thankful for every single day, after 21 days we have rewired your brain. You see, the brain is full of thousands and thousands of roadways and whichever roadway you go down the most, you’re going to go down even faster tomorrow. If you go down this roadway 107 times today, you’re going to go down at 108 times tomorrow, and 109 times the day after.

What we know is that when we get you to write down three different gratitudes, we create a new neural feedback loop in your brain, and your brain starts taking a different path. And when your brain starts taking a different path, all of a sudden, all of this other good stuff that’s out there is popping on your radar. And when it’s popping on your radar and you’re getting those little boosts, those little positive boosts, it’s having an effect on your brain. So this is why we know that. 

The gratitude practice is a two minute daily practice. I do it every morning. I have a little journal. I get mine from Amazon, but before I got my journals from TJ Maxx. And I always put the date, I always put the date August 23rd 2023. Then I write the words “I am thankful…” because I am thankful. Those are three of the most powerful words in the universe. Those hold a high vibrational frequency. And then you simply write down three different things you’re thankful for.

The only rule is they need to be three different things every day for 21 days. And you need to be specific. Don’t just say “I’m thankful for my body”, say “I’m thankful that I have a body that allows me to walk three miles every day”. Don’t just say “I’m thankful for my family”,  say “I’m thankful that on Thursday nights we always go out to eat for pizza with my mom and dad”.

I want you to be specific with your gratitudes. They don’t have to be really long, but I want you to be specific and I want you to do your gratitude journal. Some people do it right before they go to bed. They put the gratitude journal on their nightstand and they know “that’s my trigger I’m going to do my gratitude journal”. For me, it’s part of my morning routine. I wake up. I do my 20 minute meditation. I go fix my protein shake. I sit out on my deck and I write my gratitudes for the day. 

I’m going to tell you, I used to run a high-end women coaching program and I would teach them all this great video content, all of these great skills, and at the end of the program, more times than not, most of them would say the number one thing that changed their life was the gratitude practice.

I want to show you where you can actually download a gratitude prompt and tracker that we have available on our website. I actually used gratitude in the classroom with my students. We would start every day with 90 seconds of gratitude and we would go around the room and each student would repeat one thing they were thankful for. And after 90 seconds we had 27 gratitudes. At the end of the day they would pull their gratitude journals out, and I would have them write three different things they were thankful for. Because I didn’t want kids just to leave my classroom and be better readers and writers and mathematicians, I wanted my kids to leave my classroom and be good at life. 

So let me show you where you can find the Gratitude Tracker. Let me go right over here to Chrome and I’m going to take you to my website. My website is strobeleducation.com but if you want the Gratitude prompt and tracker for your own life or for your students life I’m going to show you where to find it.

Click Here to Try our free Gratitude Tracker

The more you focus on all the abundance in your life, the more you attract more abundance into your life.

So the prompt gives you five different areas to look for gratitude in your life. Five different areas! And then there is a gratitude tracker if you want to use it. So if you go to https://strobeleducation.com/  and you go to freebies and you click on that in that upper menu bar there’s all kinds of free stuff on here. But if you go down here to get your tracker, you can get the get gratitude tracker. I’m going to show you the QR code where you can just put your phone up and click on your camera app and the QR code will take you straight to our gratitude tracker. So feel free to go there as well and you can download the tracker you can use it in your own life. You can adopt a gratitude practice with your students which is very very powerful. I’m going to pause here for just a moment and let you grab that Gratitude tracker.

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