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Everybody is familiar with the feeling that things are not as they should be.
That you're not successful enough.
Your relationships not satisfying enough.
That you don't have the things you crave.
A chronic dissatisfaction that makes you look outwards with envy
and inwards with disappointment.
Pop culture, advertising and social media made this worse
by reminding you that aiming for anything less than your dream job is failure,
you need to have great experiences constantly,
be conventionally attractive, have a lot of friends,
and find your soulmate, and that others have all of these things,
and are truly happy.
And of course, a vast array of self-improvement products
implies that it's all your fault for not working hard enough on yourself.
In the last two decades, researchers have been starting to
investigate how we can counteract these impulses.
The field of positive psychology emerged.
The study of what makes life worth living.
While cognitive behaviorial therapy was developed to change negative feelings.
Scientists began to ask why are some people happier and more satisfied than others,
and are there ways to apply what they're doing right, to the rest of us.
In this video, we want to talk about one of the strongest predictors of
how happy people are,
how easily they make friends,
and how good they are at dealing with hardship.
An antidote to dissatisfaction so to speak.
Gratitude.
While gratitude may sound like another self-improvement trend
preached by people who use #hashtags,
what we currently know about it is based on a body of scientific work and studies.
We'll include them in the description.
Gratitude can mean very different things to different people in different contexts.
It's a character trait, a feeling, a virtue
and a behaviour.
You can feel grateful towards someone who did something for you,
for random events like the weather, or even for nature.
Or fate.
And it's wired into our biology.
How gratitude connects us to each other.
The predecessor of gratitude
is probably reciprocity.
It likely evolved as a biological signal
that motivates animals to exchange things for their mutual benefit
and can be found in the animal kingdom among certain fish,
birds, or mammals,
but especially in primates.
When your brain recognises that someone's done something nice for you
it reacts with gratitude to motivate you to repay them.
This gratitude makes you care about others,
and others care about you.
This was important because as human brains got better at reading emotions,
selfish individuals were identified and shunned.
It became an evolutionary advantage to play well with others,
and build lasting relationships.
For example, if you were hungry and someone else showed you
where to find tasty berries,
you felt gratitude towards them and a bond to return the favour in the future.
A drive to be pro-social.
When you repaid them, they felt gratitude towards you.
This brought your ancestors close together,
and forged bonds and friendships.
So early forms of gratitude were biological mechanisms
that modified your behaviour towards cooperation
which helped humans to dominate Earth.
But over time, gratitude became more than just
an impulse to play fair.
The consequences of gratitude.
Scientists found that gratitude stimulates the pathways
in your brain involved in feelings of reward,
forming social bonds,
and interpreting others' intentions.
It also makes it easier to save and retrieve positive memories.
Even more,
gratitude directly counteracts negative feelings
in traits like envy and social comparison,
narcissism, cynicism and materialism.
As a consequence, people who are grateful no matter what for
tend to be happier and more satisfied.
They have better relationships,
an easier time making friends.
They sleep better,
tend to suffer less from depression,
addiction, and burnout
and are better at dealing with traumatic events.
In a way, gratitude makes it less likely that you'll fall
into one of the psychological traps modern life has set for you.
For example, gratitude measurably counters the tendency to
forget, and downplay positive events.
If you work long and hard for something,
actually getting it can feel daft and empty.
You can find yourself emotionally back where you started
and try to achieve the next biggest thing
looking for that satisfaction instead of being satisfied with yourself.
Or imagine being lonely and wanting to have more friends.
You actually might have someone or even multiple people
who want to hang out.
But you might feel that this is not enough,
that you're a loser, and you feel bad about yourself.
so you might turn down their attempts to hang out
and become more lonely.
If you feel grateful for your relationships instead,
you might accept invitations, or even take the initiative.
The more often you risk opening up,
the higher the chance of solidifying relationships
and meeting new people.
In the best case,
gratitude can trigger a feedback loop.
Positive feelings lead to more pro-social behaviour,
which leads to more positive social experiences,
that cause more positive feelings.
This is a common experience after serious hardship
like chemotherapy for example.
Life can feel amazing after a crisis is over.
The smallest things can be bottomless sources of joy.
from being able to taste, to just sitting in the sun
or chatting with a friend.
Objectively, your life is the same or
may be even slightly worse than before,
but your brain compares your present experiences
with the times when life was bad,
and reacts with gratitude.
So, in a nutshell
gratitude refocuses your attention towards
the good things you have.
And the consequences of this shift,
are better feelings,
and more positive experiences.
While it is great to know these things,
is there actually a way for you to feel more of it?
How to make your brain more grateful.
The ability to experience more or less gratitude
is not equally distributed.
you have what's known as 'trait gratitude'.
That determines how much you are able to feel it.
It depends on your genetics,
personality and culture.
This discovery made scientists wonder if they could
design exercises that change your trait gratitude,
and lead to more happiness.
Let's start with important caveats.
It's not yet entirely clear to what degree gratitude can be trained,
or how long the effects last.
There are no magic pills for happiness.
Life is complicated.
On some days it feels like you're in control of yourself,
and on others, you feel like you're not.
and this is okay.
Also, sometimes pursuing happiness can make you more unhappy
if you put too much pressure on yourself.
Gratitude should also not be seen as a solution to
depression, or a substitute for professional help.
It can only be a piece of the puzzle.
It's not the solution to the puzzle itself.
The easiest gratitude exercise with the most solid research behind it
Is gratitude journaling.
It means, sitting down for a few minutes,
one to three times a week, and writing down
five to ten things you're grateful for.
It might feel weird at first.
So start simply.
Can you feel grateful for a little thing?
Like how great coffee is,
or that someone was kind to you?
Can you appreciate something someone else did feel?
Can you reflect on which things or people
you would miss if they were gone,
and be grateful that they're in your life?
We're all different,
so you'll know what works for you.
And that's it really.
It feels almost insulting.
Like, things shouldn't be that simple.
But in numerous studies,
the participants reported more happiness
and a higher general life satisfaction
after doing this practice for a few weeks.
And even more,
studies have found changes in brain activity
some months after they ended.
Practicing gratitude may be a real way to
reprogram yourself.
This research shows that your emotions
are not fixed.
In the end, how you experience life
is a representation of what you believe about it.
If you attack your core beliefs about
yourself and your life,
You can change your thoughts and feelings
which automatically changes your behaviour.
It's pretty mindblowing that something as simple as
self reflection can hack the pathways in our brain
to fight dissatisfaction.
And, if this is no reason to be more optimistic,
what is?
Being a human is hard.
but it doesn't need to be as hard.
And if you actively look,
you might find that your life is much better
than you thought.
*Woof!*
*Bwoooh!*
If you're curious and want to try out gratitude,
we made a thing.
Please note that you don't need to buy anything
from anyone to practice gratitude,
all you need is paper,
a pen,
and five minutes.
Having said that,
we've made a Kurzegesagt Gratitude Journal.
Based on studies we've read,
conversations with experts,
and our personal experiences with gratitude over the last year.
It's structured in a way
that might make it a bit easier to
get into the habit of gratitude journaling.
There are short explanations and reflections
to mix it up,
and make it more interesting.
We've also made it as pretty as we could.
The video continues the unofficial series of
more personal, introspective videos
from optimistic nihilism to loneliness,
and now, gratitude.
We don't want to be a self-help channel,
so we'll keep this sort of video at roughly one per year.
We hope they're helpful to some of you.
Thank you for watching.
*Quack!*
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載入中…

不滿足的解藥 (An Antidote to Dissatisfaction)

215 分類 收藏
郭韋良 發佈於 2019 年 12 月 9 日
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