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Cultivating Happiness using CBT- Deliberate Gratitude

Research shows that when people intentionally emphasizing gratefulness, adopting an attitude of gratitude, a positive and encouraging perspective, especially regarding children and teens, good things happen. There is a significant positive impact on mental health, relationship satisfaction, life satisfaction, self-worth and esteem, and motivation.

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When we ruminate about things, our perspective is skewed, often towards the negative.

In order to keep perspective and balance out the tendency towards negative thinking, using a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) type of technique helps tremendously.

The Gratitude Records and The Happiness Formula

I know what you might be thinking. Really, recording stuff? Yep…really. And here’s why. When folks record something like a positive interaction (computer file, handwritten), it exponentially increases the effects of that event. By focusing intentionally, it is like getting benefit from all the good stuff again. It sort of gets imprinted into your brain, and so positively influences your moods. So give this a try. For a week, using this very basic template. Begin to record three things that occurred during your day that you are grateful and appreciative of. These don’t have to be a big deal.

Use the follow basic CBT type of format.

Title of the Event.
Whatever happened, give it a title. Short and sweet works best.

The Event
What actually happened. Detail the event, where, when, who said what, etc. The more detail that better.

How did you feel then? How do you feel now recalling it?
Revisit the feelings you had. Record them. Also, notice how you are feeling at the moment.

Why do you think it happened? How do you make sense of it?
Why do you think this event happened? What did it serve for you? Is it a learning or a reminder to you?

Again, do this for a week and simply notice your mood and feelings as a result of this Cognitive Behavioural Therapy type of technique.

George is the Clinical Director at Waypoint Counselling & Referral Centre. He has been a Registered Clinical Counsellor since 1991, working and teaching in a variety of counselling settings.

Waypoint counsellors are here to help when learning to deal with bad moods. Our office in downtown Victoria is a safe place to receive guidance and help make the best decisions to do with you life.

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