As we move from Thanksgiving to the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, it’s easy to put gratitude on the back burner until next year. But gratitude is more than a nice sentiment that we think about once a year. It’s a state of mind that affects every area of our lives.
In fact, according to the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, research shows that gratitude:
- Boosts the immune system
- Reduces blood pressure
- Increases positive emotions
- Causes people to express more generosity and compassion
- Reduces feelings of isolation
Some people find it difficult to feel grateful when they’re coping with difficult problems and issues. How can they be grateful about the good things in their lives, for example, when they have trouble paying the bills?
Emotional freedom techniques (EFT) tapping is a self-help tool that can help people deal with emotional discomfort, painful memories, physical symptoms and much more. People can use EFT tapping to neutralize the negative emotions that make it difficult for them to feel grateful. In turn, they feel more positive emotions and can reap the emotional and health benefits associated with gratitude.
Here’s how you can use EFT tapping to enhance the gratitude in your life. Think of the major areas in your life that are important to you. Examples include your relationships, health, finances, etc. When you try to feel grateful about these parts of your life, what negative feelings surface? Are you still angry at an ex-spouse? Do you feel ashamed about financial problems? Do you have physical symptoms that make it difficult for you to enjoy life?
Write the negative thoughts, problems and emotions that come up when you try to practice gratitude on a piece of paper or in a journal and use EFT tapping on each item. EFT tapping is a simple process that involves focusing on difficult issues or problems while gently tapping on certain acupressure points. The tapping sends calming signals to the brain that interrupt our conditioned responses and help relieve emotional distress. Studies show that EFT tapping is an effective way to deal with post traumatic stress disorder (PTDS), phobias, depression, anxiety, pain, test anxiety and other problems. It also helps boost positive emotions like gratitude.
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