I have been doing a daily posting on Instagram (follow me here) about gratitude this week, in honor of Thanksgiving. Though studies show that practicing gratitude on a daily basis has a strong impact and it’s not solely for Thanksgiving time, it's often on many people’s mind around this time. One of my favorite things to offer my clients are resources. I LOVE a good resource because I’m a studious bibliophile and if I can offer knowledge, I will. So today’s post is to give you some resources to go deeper into the science of gratitude, read about other people's gratitude, etc. I’ve included a mix of resources, hopefully you can find something that resonates with you! Also, be sure to check out your public library for the books! I was able to find these at my library and read through them on the Kindle app (free is nice lol).
Let’s get into the list!
Podcast: Huberman’s Lab: The Science of Gratitude & How to Build a Gratitude Practice. Episode 47 https://hubermanlab.com/the-science-of-gratitude-and-how-to-build-a-gratitude-practice/
Just released this week!
If you are a person who likes to hear about the science of why things work and how they work on the body AND how to optimize your gratitude practice to get the most benefits then this is the podcast for you. Dr. Huberman goes over studies that talk about how gratitude works on the brain and affects us, as well as health benefits on the physical body and how to create an effective gratitude practice.
I enjoyed listening to this because I LOVE science and I geek out over hearing how things work. The best part about this episode is hearing how you can use someone else’s story of gratitude to enable you to access your own gratitude, which can also increase your sense of empathy.
Robert Emmons: The Power of Gratitude talk through the Greater Good Science Center
Robert Emmons is a professor and a researcher that studies gratitude and other positive psychology topics. He has written a few books on the subject of gratitude, a couple being Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, and Gratitude Works! A Twenty-One Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity. In the linked talk, he defines gratitude and how to reap the benefits of gratitude with examples as well as the differences in mentally between grateful and ungrateful people. He also discusses how gratitude can heal, energize you, and create change. Robert Emmons has plenty of resources for learning about and practicing gratitude, be sure to check his stuff out besides the linked talk.
Gratitude By Oliver Sacks
Oliver Sacks was a neurologist and a writer and these are essays he wrote during the after he learned he had multiple tumors on his liver. I was introspective while reading this and it facilitated some of my own self-reflection and brought me back to my days as a Hospice nurse which was a life changing experience for me to be so close to death and grief so frequently. The essays are beautiful reflections on his thoughts on life, death, science, and family. A quick and well worth it read.
Naikan Gratitude, Grace, and Japanese Art of Self-Reflection By Gregg Krech
“Gratitude requires attention and reflection. If we don’t pay attention, the countless and constant ways we are supported go unnoticed. If we don’t reflect, we fail to acquire the wisdom that comes with perspective (Krech, 2002, p.35).”
This book is filled with exercises for practicing Naikan which goes into gratitude, self-reflection, self-examination, with exercises, stories, quotes, and more! The format makes it easy to read!
Naikan is a Japanese word that means looking inside or seeing oneself with the mind’s eye (Sutton, 2021).” Naikan is a type of therapy that involves self-reflection surrounding three questions:
What have I received from a significant other?
What have I given back to that person?
What troubles and difficulties did I cause that person?
As a little bonus, here is an article I stumbled upon during research for this post that goes into detail about Naikan Therapy and discusses the same book!
(Audiobook) Gratitude Daily: 21 Days to More Joy and Less Stress By Nataly Kogan
This is a great listen! Each day is filled with different ways to practice gratitude, stories about gratitude, and research surrounding gratitude. It would be perfect to include in a morning routine to start the day off on a positive note!
Additional References ( besides material mentioned):
Krech, G. (2002). Naikan. Stone Bridge Press. Kindle Edition.
Sutton, J. (2021). Naikan therapy: Applying the japanese art of self-reflection. https://positivepsychology.com/naikan-therapy/
UC Davis. (2021). “About Robert Emmons.” https://psychology.ucdavis.edu/people/raemmons