Saturday, December 04, 2021

Practicing gratitude makes people happier, according to science. Here’s how to make it a habit

 Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred.

— Jacques Barzun, born in 1904

Story of the Week: How I Escaped Being Killed in a Duel

Rhyme with Sondheim | Dramatists Guild

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ: I’m older than you so I had other experiences before that, but if you’re talking about Steve rhyming “tranquil” with “drank will…” [that’s when] I suddenly became aware of those sort of trick rhymes that were very exciting to me. I remember now that my parents had a record of Ella Fitzgerald singing Rodgers and Hart and how thrilled I was when I first heard “To Keep My Love Alive” and Hart rhyming “possibilities” with “kill at ease” or “horse’s neck to me” with “appendectomy.”

Brought to you by Google Maps and Google News Initiative – “Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, and Google Maps is here to help make celebrating a breeze. Using data from 2018’s holiday season, we’re giving you a closer look at the places people visit during the holidays, when to visit them, and the best times to get on (or stay off) the road in 2019…”

Practicing gratitude makes people happier, according to science. Here’s how to make it a habit -Fast Company: “Research shows that grateful people tend to be healthy and happy. They exhibit lower levels of stress and depression, cope better with adversity and sleep better. They tend to be happier and more satisfied with life. Even their partners tend to be more content with their relationships. 

Perhaps when we are more focused on the good things we enjoy in life, we have more to live for and tend to take better care of ourselves and each other. When researchers asked people to reflect on the past week and write about things that either irritated them or about which they felt grateful, those tasked with recalling good things were more optimistic, felt better about their lives and actually visited their physicians less…”

How to Be Thankful When You Don’t Feel Thankful

Even if you think you have little to celebrate this year, you can and should practice gratitude – Atlantic – Arthur C. Brooks: “…The crisis has shaken our trust in those who are charged with leading and informing us through the crisis, making George Washington’s injunction to be grateful for our system difficult. According to Gallup, the percentage of Americans who trust our political leaders a “great deal” or a “fair amount” has fallen from 53 percent before the pandemic to 44 percent today. Gratitude, if you see it as something that happens to you because of your circumstances, might feel a bit out of reach. But that’s the wrong way to approach it. Gratitude isn’t a feeling that materializes in response to your circumstances. It is a practice. And even if you feel that you have little to be grateful for this year, you can—and should—engage in it…

Thankfulness has been strongly and consistently shown to raise human beings’ happiness. It stimulates the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, part of the brain’s reward circuit. Gratitude can make us more resilient, and enhance relationships by strengthening romantic ties, bolsteringfriendships, and creating family bonds that endureduring times of crisis. It may improve many health indicators, such as blood pressure and diet

How to Quiet Your Mind Chatter

Nautilus – “We’ve all been there. Stuck in our own heads, fixated on a two-minute conversation from three days ago. We replay it over and over. I shouldn’t have snapped at Dad. He was always so patient when I was growing up. We get stuck. The voice in our heads goes from an ally to a vicious nag, just looping uselessly over the same things, again and again and again. Ethan Kross, an experimental psychologist and neuroscientist at the University of Michigan, wants to teach us how to control the voices in our heads. Not the voices of mental illness, mind you, just the little voice we all have, cheerily (or naggingly) narrating our lives as we go about our days. To break the tape loop in your head, talk to yourself as another person. According to Kross, our inner voices can be one of our greatest strengths—when we can control them. Those inner voices can take us to whole other worlds, allow us to imagine different pasts or exciting futures, but they can also trap us in a hell of our own making. In his new book, Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, Kross walks readers through a number of different strategies to control mental chatter. A key strategy is “distanced self-talk,” using language to create mental distance from yourself. The best medicine for being stuck on a problem is to gain perspective on it. And a way to gain that perspective is to talk to yourself as if you were another person. You can never be certain what he was thinking, Liz. He might have appreciated your retort…”