Week 5 Reflection: Gratitude

RevofKindnessWhoa – is it week 5 of the Kindness Challenge already? My, my. How time flies.

Here’s the link to Niki’s site, that explains our goal for the week.

In general, I was to reflect on the things I’m grateful for in my life.

Have you heard about confirmation bias? (This might seem a little off-subject, bear with me.)

Basically, confirmation bias is our tendency to look for things – or only see things – that confirm what we’ve already decided to be true.

So let’s say you think the world is an awful place and people are idiots. You can find proof of that wherever you go — because you’re looking for it. (Honestly, you can be a real downer, you know that?)

We can all think of someone who fits that description, right? A real Negative Nelly, who can find something to complain about wherever they go, even at Disneyland, even when the lines aren’t bad.

(No really, it happens! If you time your trip just right and get there early, you can be the first one on Space Mountain!)

grumpy-cat-300x200Here’s something fascinating I learned this week: in turns out we’re all hard-wired for negativity, not just the Negative Nellys. I read an interesting article about it.

They think it’s a leftover from our caveman days, when we had to constantly be on guard lest a saber tooth tiger jump us at the next corner.

Here’s the link if you want to read the article in its entirety.

Anyway, as I reflected on these biases of ours, as well as the challenge before me to be a more grateful person, I came to a few conclusions:

  1. We should forgive ourselves for thinking negative thoughts. It’s not a weakness, but a natural part of our humanness. Nor does it make us bad people. It just is.
  2. Just because our cavemen ancestors had to worry constantly, doesn’t mean we have to. There is no saber tooth tiger ready to pounce as you walk out the door. In comparison, our worries are pretty tame.
  3. We can use confirmation bias to our benefit — think of it! Do you want to see the world as a beautiful place? Believe it first, and the evidence will follow. Want to see people as good and kind? Believe it! (Get the point?)
  4. Unlike our cavemen ancestors, we have the luxury of changing our surroundings, changing our jobs, changing our attitudes, if what we are currently experiencing isn’t working for us.
  5. For that, we should be grateful.

So that’s what I want to leave with you today. Whatever frustrations we may endure, let us always be grateful for our freedom, our comforts, our intellectual capacity, and our ability to learn, adapt, and grow as individuals.

It’s a great time to be alive, isn’t it? ❤

pooh and piglet

 

 

 

 

Author: C. J. Hartwell

Christi lives in Phoenix with Husband, Son, Daughter, and Dog. She enjoys moonlit walks on the beach, but as she doesn't live anywhere near a beach, she's usually in bed by 9:30.

10 thoughts on “Week 5 Reflection: Gratitude”

  1. Tis true, attitude can greatly affect perspective. But sometimes folks use confirmation bias as a way to deny or ignore facts, and that can lead to problems too. So I’d agree, keep a positive attitude, but keep it real.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! When I first learned of confirmation bias, it made me feel a lot less certain about all the things I previously considered ‘facts’. Which can be both liberating and terrifying at the same time. I can see why so many people (especially politicians) refuse to accept it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The modus operandi for politicians (and some marketing types and more extreme religious sects) is to tell people what they think they want to hear, regardless of facts. What gets scary is when they’re so indoctrinated into presenting a narrow point of view they actually begin to believe it themselves, without considering the big picture.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know how I missed this but I’m glad I came across it now. It’s funny because the confirmation bias is so true! When I struggled with depression everything was bad and I had nothing but example after real life example to prove me right. Now that I’ve trained myself to think positive, I set my intention for the day and know that reality is a matter of perception it has completely changed my life. That’s a broad statement to make, I know but I’m not the same person I was before. My reactions, my perspective and my intentions are completely different. Gratefulness was one of the first steps in that process for me. When I was depressed I could only be thankful for my health, breathing and the fact I woke up that morning and some days to be honest I wasn’t thankful for the second or third things. Then I realized how lucky I was to be thankful for having those things. When that began to sink in…my perspective started to change. Once I started looking for the good things I was surprised by how many things I had taken for granted. Thanks for sharing your conclusions. It’s true, we are no longer running from saber toothed tigers so while there is a reason for it we need to keep it in perspective 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It can, had it not been for the crisis I had I possibly might still be struggling with it but that was my wake up call. It was still a struggle to fight it but I knew it was worse than I realized and I needed to do something drastic. I had to go waaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone but it’s been worth it. For the first time in 3 years I haven’t had suicidal thoughts and a bad day hasn’t lasted more than a day. That in itself is miraculous for me personally. Thank you CJ, I’m so glad to talk to you. I’ve missed you in the challenge and I’m glad we connected today ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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