Over the past few years, more and more people and organizations have had their eyes opened to the extreme power of simple gratitude. No longer just the domain of pre-Thanksgiving Dinner share sessions, scientific research has been showing that those of us who intentionally make an effort to think about what we’re thankful for and express our gratitude to those around us are generally happier, healthier, and live more fulfilling lives. However, the key word in that last paragraph is intentional. Our brains are wired like thermostats, and have a tendency to emotionally regulate themselves back to a default state in the face of extreme changes. When an emotion is experienced frequently, this trait (called “hedonic adaptation") causes that emotion to be felt less strongly, which can make it difficult to be fully aware of when something truly positive is happening in our lives.
Some FISH! Phil-osophy thoughts from our own Phil Strand, co-author of FISH! Tales and Schools of FISH!: Thanksgiving reminds us to count our blessings. Being grateful feels satisfying and filling, like a slice of turkey and a warm piece of pumpkin pie. But how do we remember to choose that kind of attitude the rest [...]