Mindful and Reflective Moments

Jason Jin ‘22 - “Practicing Gratitude”

April 21, 2021 Vassar College Season 1 Episode 5
Mindful and Reflective Moments
Jason Jin ‘22 - “Practicing Gratitude”
Chapters
Mindful and Reflective Moments
Jason Jin ‘22 - “Practicing Gratitude”
Apr 21, 2021 Season 1 Episode 5
Vassar College

Gratitude is a fundamental human emotion, but it isn’t the easiest to practice in our daily lives. Join Jason Jin ’22 in this episode as he discusses the importance of being thankful and the impact it  can have on our day-to-day interactions. Learn the science behind gratitude and how you can begin making it a part of your own mindful and reflective moments.

Show Notes Transcript

Gratitude is a fundamental human emotion, but it isn’t the easiest to practice in our daily lives. Join Jason Jin ’22 in this episode as he discusses the importance of being thankful and the impact it  can have on our day-to-day interactions. Learn the science behind gratitude and how you can begin making it a part of your own mindful and reflective moments.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Mindful and Reflective Moments, and thank you for joining us. In each episode, a Vassar College community member will share a mindfulness practice and explore how their practice sustains them during these uncertain times. We hope that you enjoy the podcast and find it helpful and meaningful.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to this five-minute mindfulness episode. Today, I'll be discussing gratitude and how gratitude in your everyday life can affect you and help you find greater meaning in the spaces around you, little things that brighten up the moments of your day and the loved ones you share those moments with, based on an article by Robert Emmons called Why Gratitude is Good, on Greater Good Magazine, UC Berkeley.

Speaker 2:

Now, what is gratitude? The dictionary definition says that it is quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. But what does it mean really? What does it mean to be thankful, to show appreciation and to return kindness to those who give it to you?

Speaker 2:

Robert Emmons, an American psychologist who studies gratitude, says this: "Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness." We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits received, and we recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. True gratitude involves a humble dependence on others. That these others gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives."

Speaker 2:

It's a force that we impact and are impacted by. We can do something that others are grateful for. And in turn, others can do things that we are grateful for. Rather, there are an innumerable number of things that we interact with every day, countless people that our actions influence, and more emotions that we feel in every moment. Gratitude can and does play a role in these daily occurrences in ways that we might not see for ourselves.

Speaker 2:

And what is gratitude good for? Research tells us that gratitude allows us to celebrate the present moments. It helps us find the value of the things in our lives and that in turn elongates our positive emotions. It makes it easier to appreciate rather than for granted. With gratitude, we can become more active participants in our own lives by recognizing the things that make us grateful.

Speaker 2:

Gratitude helps us relinquish our negative emotions: jealousy, resentment, regret. By feeling thankful, we choose to think positive thoughts, those same thoughts that are incompatible with feelings of negativity. We move on and find ways to feel better for ourselves and others. It helps us become more resilient to stress, gives us a different perspective. And gratitude is one step for feeling more confident about ourselves and finding the strength to believe in our self-worth as we realized all of the people and things that helped us along the way.

Speaker 2:

But gratitude can be tricky. With the constant bustle and hustle of modern day life, it can be sometimes hard to think about the things you're grateful for, especially now when times can be especially challenging with the constant change in your environment, or rather a monotony that seems never ending. It can be difficult to find a silver lining, to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Speaker 2:

However, gratitude doesn't have to be some grand reason for the moment you exist in right now. It can be about the little things. You can feel grateful for the snow outside on the ground, the smell of fresh air as the tree branches slowly dance in the breeze, waking up in the morning with a cool pillow under your head, the smell of coffee or tea in your favorite mug as it fills the room. You can feel grateful for the fun socks you put on, the feeling of the sunlight or Moonlight on your face.

Speaker 2:

Or it can be about even bigger things. The place you are in right now, the town you live in, the people you see the country you reside, the world that goes around, the galaxies and the countless stars in the sky, the universe. It can be about anything and everything you want. That is for you to decide for yourself. So, what do you feel grateful for?

Speaker 2:

Mindful and Reflective Moments is brought to you by the Vassar College Counseling Service, the Office of Health Promotion and Education, the Office of Student Growth and Engagement, and the Office of Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices.