Monthly RC Mindfulness: Come Fill Your Cup - May 2021
More than 35 RC trainers, champions, and staff attended the second RC Monthly Mindfulness session! This blog offers a brief summary of the session, initial feedback from participants, and resources to advance learning and practice.
Enjoy the read and remember that all staff, Champions, and Trainers at RC agencies are welcome to attend this free, monthly drop-in offering – share this registration link with your coworkers today. We hope to see you June 2nd for Meditation: The Practice of Noticing.
Appreciation is an acknowledgment of good things, of the positives we encounter. Gratitude goes a step further by recognizing that positive things in our lives are due to forces outside of ourselves, such as other people.
There is increasing evidence that gratitude practice offers many benefits, including:
- Increases feelings of happiness and life satisfaction
- Boosts feelings of optimism, joy, pleasure, and enthusiasm
- Improves our relationships
Gratitude, then, fosters hope (that there is and will be goodness in the world) and connection (the belief that others offer us goodness).
Despite these benefits, there are barriers to experiencing and practicing gratitude, including feelings that gratitude is:
- A sign of dependence or weakness
- A form of social obligation (a “should”)
- Dismissive of bad things or harm
Expectations of gratitude, especially from one’s self, may unintentionally reinforce feelings of not being worthy of good things in life, such as “Nothing good happens to me because I don’t deserve it," or, “No one is grateful for all of the things I do.” Additionally, in the face of hardship, the absence of gratitude may trigger feelings of shame, as in “What’s wrong with me? I should be grateful.”
To enhance the benefits and work with the barriers, consider gratitude an invitation – an option and a choice, never a "should". Model and invite gratitude without expectation from yourself or others.
Consider experimenting with gratitude practice in the coming month, using one of the resource links offered below. Remember to “do no harm” as you practice, meaning:
- All practice is optional
- Take a break or stop if you’re feeling distressed
- Be kind and gentle with yourself and others
- Seek support as needed
Source: The Gratitude Project: How the science of thankfulness can rewire our brains for resilience, optimism, and the greater good
- I really needed this today.
- I love that these [monthly RC mindfulness sessions] are simple, touch-base moments. Sharing concept and then practicing. Great information for our young people and for ourselves!
- It was great just getting the opportunity to experience gratitude in relationship, which increased my ability to connect with what I am grateful for.
Gratitude Practice Resources:
- Link to PowerPoint slides from the May 5th RC Monthly Mindfulness session.
- Gratitude Journal: Count your blessings and enjoy better health and happiness, 15 minutes per day, 1-3 times per week.
- Gratitude Letter: Writing a letter expressing thanks, An exercise for writing a letter to express thanks and for delivering the letter to a person.
- How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain by Joshua Brown and Joel Wong.
- The Gratitude Project: How the Science of Thankfulness Can Rewire Our Brains for Resilience, Optimism, and the Greater Good, edited by Jeremy Adam Smith, Kira M. Newman, Jason Marsh and Dacher Keltner.