Gratitude and Visualization

by David Samoranski on November 17th, 2012

I have had 2 recent experiences which reinforced my understanding of the power that gratitude and visualization can have on happiness. Gratitude is an appreciation of something valuable to you. Expressing gratitude regularly has a transformational effect on the way you experience life. Visualization is when you create mental images or pictures of something you want. Understanding what you want out of life and imagining yourself in the desired situation has a tremendous impact on your ability to achieve what you want. The old saying, “you can do anything you put your mind to” is surprisingly accurate. The trouble is that most of get distracted easily and usually choose short-term pleasure over long-term fulfillment.

What is Gratitude?

For me, gratitude is a state of mind. I can choose to focus on what’s wrong in my life or the things I don’t have, and I will see everything that happens from that negative perspective. Or I can choose to focus on the things that are going well and the things I do have, and I can experience life from a much better place. So, gratitude is about choosing what state of mind I want to be in and being conscious about how that state of mind affects my perception of reality.

True Secret to Success

Geoffrey James wrote an article for Inc. earlier this year titled True Secret to Success (It’s Not What You Think). James believes that gratitude is the key to success and happiness. He also shares that gratitude is an emotional muscle that can be exercised and strengthened. James suggests creating a routine time of day to reflect and recognize what you are grateful for. Practicing this exercise every day for a few weeks will quickly turn it into a habit and open you up to the many reasons to be grateful.

The Happiness Set-Point

Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis recently authored a book, “Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier”. Dr. Emmons is considered to be the world’s leading authority on gratitude. One of his findings relates to a concept known as the happiness set-point. This concept basically states that everyone has a pre-defined happiness baseline. As good or bad things happen on a day-to-day basis our happiness levels will increase and decrease, but eventually we return to our individual set-points. Dr. Emmons’ research found that practicing gratitude can increase the happiness set-point in individuals by around 25%.

What is Visualization?

For me, visualization is imagining an alternate reality. I did this a lot as a kid, but somewhere along the line I learned that daydreaming was not a productive use of time. I now have a new understanding of how the imagination can be a useful tool to achieve whatever I want. I have personally experienced that visualizing a desired result with intense emotion and focus has a direct impact on the ability to make it happen.

The Secret

There is a movie I have seen a few times now that first introduced me to the concept of visualization. The Secret shares the stories of several people that have used visualization and the law of attraction to change their lives. The basic premise is that you can attract whatever you want into your life if you visualize what you want and fully immerse yourself in the experience like it is really happening. The movie is a little mystical/new-agey which will turn some people off, but it’s definitely valuable information that has helped me. You can watch this movie on Netflix if you have an account.

I can’t say that I walk around in a state of perpetual bliss, but I do think being aware of my state of mind and how that affects my ability to achieve what I want in life has had a very real impact on my happiness. I hope sharing this information can inspire others to try similar ideas and find their own happiness.

From → Personal

Comments are closed.