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An Antidote to Dissatisfaction

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    Everybody is familiar with the feeling
    that things are not as
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    they should be,
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    that you not successful enough,
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    your relationships are not satisfying
    enough
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    that you don't have the things you crave,
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    a chronic dissatisfaction that
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    makes you look outwards with envy
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    and inwards with disappointment,
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    pop culture, advertising and social media
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    make this worse by reminding you
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    that aiming for anything less that your
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    dream job is failure, you need to have
    great
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    experiences constantly,
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    be conventionally attractive,
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    have lot of friends
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    and find your soulmate
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    and that others have
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    all of these things and
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    are truly happy
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    and of course a vast array of
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    self-improvement products
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    implies that is your fault for not
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    working hard enough for yourself.
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    In the last two decades
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    researchers have been starting to
    investigate
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    how we can counteract these impulses
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    the field of positive psychology emerged
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    the study of what makes life worth living
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    while conductive behavior therapy
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    was developed to change negative feelings;
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    scientist began to ask
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    why are some people happier and
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    more satisfied than others?
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    and are there ways to apply what
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    they are doing right
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    to the rest of us?
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    In this video we want to talk about
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    one of the strongest predictors
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    of how happy people are,
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    how easily to make friends
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    and how good they are at dealing with
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    hardship.
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    An antidote to dissatisfaction
    so to speak:
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    Gratitude
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    While gratitud may sound like another
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    self improvement trend preached by
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    people who use hashtags
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    what we currently know about it is based
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    on a body of scientific work and studies.
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    we'll include them in the description
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    gratitud can mean very different things
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    to different people in different context:
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    it's a character trait, a feeling, a
    virtue and a behavior
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    you can feel grateful towards someone
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    who did something for you
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    for random events like the weather
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    or even for nature or faith
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    and it's wired into our biology.
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    How gratitude connects us
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    to each other
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    the predecessor of gratitude is probably
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    reciprocity,
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    it likely evolved as a biological signal
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    that motivates animals to exchange things
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    for their mutual benefit
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    and it can be found in the animal kingdom
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    among certain fish, birds or mammals,
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    but specially in primates.
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    When your brain recognizes that someone
    has done something nice to you
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    it reacts with gratitude to motivate you
    to repaid them
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    this gratitude makes you care about others
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    and others care about you.
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    This was important because as humans
    brains
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    got better at reading emotions
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    selfish individual were identified and
    shunned
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    it became an evolutionary advantage to
    play well
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    with others
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    and build lasting relationships,
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    for example:
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    if you were hungry and someone else
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    showed you where to find tasty berries
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    you felt gratitude towards them
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    and a bond to return the favor in the
    future
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    a drive to be pro-social
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    when you repaid them, they feel gratitude
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    towards you
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    this brought your ancestors close together
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    and forged bonds and friendships
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    so, early forms of gratitude where
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    biological mechanisms
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    that modified your behavior towards
    cooperation
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    which helped humans to dominate the earth,
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    but over time
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    gratitude became more than just an impulse
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    to play fair
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    the consequences of gratitude.
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    Scientists found that gratitude stimulates
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    the pathways in your brain involved in
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    feelings of reward, forming social bonds,
    and interpreting others intentions.
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    It also makes it easier to save and
    retrieve
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    positive memories
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    even more gratitude counteracts negative
    feelings and traits
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    like envy and social comparison:
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    narcissism
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    cynicism
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    and materialism
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    as a consequence,
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    people who are grateful, no matter what
    for
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    tend to be happier, and more satisfied
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    they have better relationships
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    and easier time making friends.
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    They sleep better,
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    tend to suffer less for depression,
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    addiction and burnout
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    and are better dealing with traumatic
    events.
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    In a way, gratitude makes it less likely
    that you'll fall into
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    one of the psychological traps modern
    life has set for you
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    for example, gratitude measurably counters
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    the tendency to forget and downplay
    positive events
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    If you work long and hard for something
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    actually getting it can feel daft and
    empty
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    you can find yourself emotionally
    back where you started
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    and try to achieve the next biggest thing,
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    looking for that satisfaction
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    instead of being satisfied with yourself
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    or, imagine being lonely and wanting
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    to have more friends.
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    you actually might have someone
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    or even multiple people who want to hang
    out,
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    but you might feel that this is not enough
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    that you're a loser and feel bad about
    yourself.
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    So, you might turn down their attempts to
    hang out
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    and become more lonely.
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    if you feel grateful for your
    relationships instead
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    you might accept invitations
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    or even take the initiative.
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    the more often you risk opening up,
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    the higher the chance of solidifying
    relationships
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    and meeting new people.
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    in the best case, gratitude can trigger
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    a feedback loop.
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    positive feelings lead to more pro-social
    behavior
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    which leads to more positive social
    experiences
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    that cause more positive feelings.
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    This is a common experience after serious
    hardship
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    like chemotherapy, for example:
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    life can feel amazing after a crisis is
    over
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    the smallest things can be bottomless
    sources of joy
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    from being able to taste
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    to just sitting in the sun or chatting
    with a friend
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    objectively, your life is the same or
    maybe even slightly worse than before
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    but your brain compares your present
    experiences
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    with the times when life was bad
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    and reacts with gratitude.
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    So, in a nutshell
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    gratitude refocuses your attention
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    towards the good things you have
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    and the consequences of this shift
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    are better feelings and more positive
    experiences
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    while it is great to know these things
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    is there actually a way for you to feel
    more of it?
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    How To Make Your Brain More Grateful?
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    The ability to experience more or
    less gratitude
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    is not equally distributed
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    you have what's known as trait gratitude
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    that determines how much you are
    able to feel it.
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    It depends on your genetics, personality,
    and culture
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    this discovery made scientists wonder
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    if they could design exercises that
    change your trait gratitude
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    and lead to more happiness.
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    Let's start with important caveats:
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    It's not yet entirely clear to what
    degree gratitude can be trained
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    or how long the effects last
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    there are no magic pills for happiness
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    Life is complicated.
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    On some days, it feels like you're in
    control of yourself
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    and, on others, you feel like you're not.
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    And this is okay.
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    Also, sometimes pursuing happiness can
    make you more unhappy
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    if you put too much pressure on yourself.
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    Gratitude should also not be seen
    as a solution to depression
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    or a substitute for professional help.
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    It can only be a piece of the puzzle.
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    It's not the solution to the puzzle
    itself,
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    the easiest gratitude exercise,
    with the most solid research behind it
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    is gratitude journaling.
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    It means sitting down for a few minutes,
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    one to three times a week,
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    and writing down five to ten things you're
    grateful for.
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    It might feel weird at first,
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    so start simply.
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    Can you feel grateful for a little thing?
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    Like how great coffee is,
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    or that someone was kind to you.
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    Can you appreciate something
    someone else did for you?
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    Can you reflect on which things or
    people you would miss if they were gone
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    and be grateful that they're in your life?
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    We're all different,
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    so you'll know what works for you.
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    And that's it, really.
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    It feels almost insulting,
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    like things shouldn't be that simple.
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    But in numerous studies,
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    the participants reported more happiness
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    and a higher general life satisfaction
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    after doing this practice for a few weeks.
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    And, even more,
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    studies have found changes in brain
    activity
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    some months after they ended.
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    Practicing gratitude, may be a real
    way to reprogram yourself.
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    This research shows that your emotions
    are not fixed.
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    In the end, how you experience life
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    is a representation of what you believe
    about it.
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    If you attack your core beliefs about
    yourself and your life,
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    you can change your thoughts and feelings,
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    which automatically changes your behavior.
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    It's pretty mind-blowing that something
    as simple as self-reflection
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    can hack the pathways in our brain
    to fight dissatisfaction.
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    And, if this is no reason to be more
    optimistic
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    what is?
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    Being a human is hard,
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    but it doesn't need to be as hard.
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    And, if you actively look,
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    you might find that your life is much
    better than you thought.
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    If you're curious and want to try
    out gratitude,
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    we made a thing.
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    Please note that you don't need to buy
    anything from anyone to practice
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    gratitude, all you need is paper, a pen,
    and five minutes.
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    Having said that, we've made a Kurzgesagt
    gratitude journal,
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    based on studies we've read,
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    conversations with experts,
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    and our personal experiences with
    gratitude over the last year.
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    It's structured in a way that might make
    it a bit easier
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    to get into the habit of gratitude
    journaling.
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    There are short explanations and
    reflections to mix it up
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    and make it more interesting.
  • 9:27 - 9:29
    We've also made it as pretty as we could.
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    This video continues the unofficial series
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    of more personal, introspective videos,
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    from optimistic nihilism to loneliness
    and now gratitude.
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    We don't want to be a self-help channel,
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    so we'll keep this sort of video at
    roughly one per year.
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    We hope they're helpful to some of you.
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    Thank you for watching.
Title:
An Antidote to Dissatisfaction
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
10:01
José Antonio Torres García edited English subtitles for An Antidote to Dissatisfaction
José Antonio Torres García edited English subtitles for An Antidote to Dissatisfaction
José Antonio Torres García edited English subtitles for An Antidote to Dissatisfaction
José Antonio Torres García edited English subtitles for An Antidote to Dissatisfaction
José Antonio Torres García edited English subtitles for An Antidote to Dissatisfaction
José Antonio Torres García edited English subtitles for An Antidote to Dissatisfaction
José Antonio Torres García edited English subtitles for An Antidote to Dissatisfaction
José Antonio Torres García edited English subtitles for An Antidote to Dissatisfaction

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