This podcast began because helping humans live their best life and become the best version of themselves is what Desireé’s life is all about. Join her as she uses her trips around the sun to throw encouragement around like confetti!
In Episode #6, we join Desireé as she talks about gratitude – what it is and what it isn’t. She delivers 3 timely tips to her listeners on gratitude fueled happiness.
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Ciao and welcome to Life out loud. I am your host Desiree Melfi Bozzo.We are going to use this space to share experiences and help you find lasting, unshakable,unwavering unmessable-with joy and gratitude. We're going to be throwing around encouragement, a little bit like confetti and giving you support to live your very best life.Ciao friends, and welcome back to life out loud. I am your host Desiree Melfi Bozzo. If you have spent any time around this space, by now you've probably heard me sign off my show by saying "there is always always,always something to be grateful for". If you're new to this space, surprise, you will definitely hear me and my podcast with that sign-off. We are recording the State Side.And since this episode is airing just a few weeks ahead of Thanksgiving, I want to unpack be really beautiful and stunning, yet sometimes super difficult concept of gratitude.So maybe you've heard some of the age old sayings like have an attitude of gratitude or the more thankful you are the more you have to be thankful for, or start each day with a grateful heart. Right. So all of these are sentiments and they're wonderful. But how do we make sense of them when life sends us reeling? Because life does send us reeling, right? It's easy to be grateful when life is amazing and going well. But how do we stay grateful when we're hurting? How do we stay grateful when we get terrible news or go through awful seasons in life?All of that is super real. So before we get to those pressing questions, I want to first talk through what gratitude is and what it isn't because I feel like there are some misconceptions about it. So gratitude is really this feeling of appreciation. And gratitude is more than just saying thank you and grazie and all of the things, right? Gratitude is actually this is posture of our heart. It's a way that we position our heart to engage with the world. Robert Emmons is a scientific expert on gratitude. And yes, that's a real job. It's amazing, I digress. Dr. Evans wrote an essay about breaking down gratitude and making it easy to understand it more fully.Essentially, according to him,there's two parts to gratitude.I'm going to quote here. The first part is "gratitude is an affirmation of goodness". It's affirming that there are good things in the world that we've received. That seems easy enough, right? The second thing,and I'm quoting, again, is that"we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves." So that means other people or a higher power, help us to achieve the goodness in our lives. I love the way he breaks that down, because it illustrates so perfectly that these two parts come together.And this is what makes up that heart posture of gratitude.Right? So gratitude affirms goodness, and that goodness comes from a place outside of us. Friends, if we can get on board with his rationale of gratitude, I feel like we can start to crack the code to true sustained happiness. I feel like we're all after happiness,right? Like, that's what, that's what the world is pushing. It's pushing happiness. And I really believe though, that true happiness comes when we're at the heart of gratitude. And so I'm talking about a happiness that isn't fleeting, but a happiness that lasts no matter our circumstances. Like no matter where life finds us, it's a happiness that never leaves.When we think about living lives of gratitude, we have to be intentional about it. That is so important. And being intentional really is just living life on purpose. It's taking actions in ways that are conscious in ways that are meaningful. When we're intentional about our gratitude,we're making the time and the space in our lives. To pay attention to where the magic happens and the blessings occur.It means we're living with our eyes open to really what's happening around us. You might be thinking, "Alright, Dez that sounds great. But what does this look like in real time?" In our everyday lives? How do we take this cozy idea and notion to real, tangible life?There are three tools that I find helpful. cracking the code on gratitude fueled happiness.They're not earth shattering.They're not new you may have heard them before. But they are tools that when we utilize them in a consistent manner, can change our lives for the better.And so here they are.The first one is to be a seeker of silver linings. Perhaps you have seen the vibrant, silvery white outline among a storm cloud. The beautiful phenomenon that happens when light gets defracted along the edge of the cloud. The same stunning sight that happens in the sky, can happen in our life. When we seek the silver lining of really hard situations, we are making room for positivity. And we're making room for hope. Both of which lead us to gratitude. Friends,the bright side isn't always apparent, I know that. We may have to seek it out. And we may have to really search for it.But seeking out the silver lining, makes space for gratitude to grow.The second one is to say thank you. This is thank you to yourself. And it's thank you to others. When we express our gratitude, we're actually speaking it into existence, we are acknowledging that we are acknowledging the other person.And we're acknowledging ourself.Saying thank you makes people feel valued, it makes people feel seen, and it makes them feel heard. It shows that you see the value that someone offered you. When people are shown gratitude, it can strengthen relationships, it can make for more open communication, because there's trust there. And it increases productivity. Friends, I encourage you to always remember to humble your heart and to say thank you. And not to forget the perhaps the most important person that you have to say thank you to is that one staring back at you in the mirror.The third tip that I have found helpful in cracking the code on gratitude fueled happiness is keeping a gratitude journal. And this isn't in your phone or on your iPad or on a device. But on legit tangible paper, like in a journal. Think about when was the last time you sat to write?I mean like really write not like, I don't know write a sign something or like write a note like a quick note, whatever.Like I just think of like notes I leave on the counter to my husband like, but when was the last time you sat down to like write not an email not a text,not the notepad on your phone,but a paper and a pen, something tangible and put words to it words on paper. Something really profound happens in our brains when we sit and write. We retain information better. Our moods,oddly enough, our moods actually uplift. Stress levels decrease.And it can even help us cope better with trauma. This is real stuff, guys. For me, my favorite part about my gratitude journals are that on my worst days, like the days that life just kicks you while you're down. I have a literal book of my own handwritten thoughts that I can refer to. And they show me tangible evidence of incredible blessings. It is a powerful practice that I really truly urge you to get into. There's something profound about handwritten gratitude journals.The entries don't have to be long, literally just a word.Friends, I remember one particularly our day I started with the date. I wrote our son's name, my husband's name, and the words my pillow. Another day and entry had the date and the name Jesus. Other days I had a half of page of things I was grateful for, right. And so what this illustrates to me is I go and look back and I read through these are that our gratitude journals are evidence that life ebbs and flows. There are mountaintops and there are valleys. But no matter what, you ready for it? There is always something to be grateful for.I have been studying this work for a long time. And there are a lot of benefits of living lives fueled by gratitude. When we live grateful we start to shift our mindset. We go from living a life of limits to living a life that's limitless. A life that is bold, where anything is possible, we begin to live in possibility. There was a study out of Berkeley that reported benefits across the board for gratitude practitioners in the realm of physical, psychological and social health. Tangible things like stronger immune systems, better sleepers, more alert and alive in the waking hours more helpful, more generous and more compassionate.Can I be super transparent and say sign me up for all of that!I am all for anything that offers benefits like that.So now that you know what gratitude is, and isn't, and you have three of my tools to begin practicing it. Now, you know,some tangible benefits. My question for you is Will you join me in practicing gratitude?Friends, I have said it before that what we focus on we find and when we focus on gratitude,we find more gratitude.Sweet listeners, I hope this was a fruitful message for you. I hope that you were able to pull out of this Tips and Tools things to implement in your life to make your days better. I hope it offered encouragement to live really, really great lives. As always, please leave me a note in the comments. I love hearing from you. Come back next time and let's throw more encouragement around like confetti. But be careful if you get too close you just might get some on you. And until we meet again, remember, you ready for it? Here goes there is always always always something to be grateful for. Ciao.Thank you for joining me Desiree Melfi Bozzo for this episode of Life out loud. I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment. Tell me what topics you want to talk about and how you take your coffee. If you enjoyed what you heard, text a friend the link share it on social media. Or if you're interested in becoming a supporter, be-bop over to my webpage lifeoutloud.me and sponsor a cup of coffee that keeps this podcast fueled. Until next time sweet listeners.