Gratitude: The Antidote to Self-Pity

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EDITOR’S NOTE: When I first got involved in AA, my sponsor had me write a list of all the things for which I was grateful, including things I took for granted (like sunshine, air, water, trees, my health, etc…). He had me refer to that each time I felt self pity or was trending towards depression. Today I still incorporate a “gratitude list” into my morning and nighttime prayers-or meditations if the idea of prayer puts you off).

The Benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants. Gratitude is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy. (Psychology Today)

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