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Gratitude And Coaching

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Random act of kindness

After undergoing research relating to the different ways in which I could carry out a random act of kindness , I decided that personally , for me , completing the gratitude letter would prove itself more fulfilling . The way in which results are presented when a random act of kindness is completed differ for each person . The levels of happiness we feel can change over time once completing the random act of kindness or in some cases it may stay the same for awhile and then die down once the initial rush of adrenaline has faded . For me , I felt that a gratitude letter would work the best choice for me . In doing this I felt I could really reflect on the words I was writing on the piece of paper I was sending to the unsuspecting person who would receive it . Along with this I felt it was a good way in utilising my strengths and what I feel was important for me to gain happiness. As I chose to do this anonymously, I felt myself being brutally honest in what I was writing as I had no restraints or no fear of being laughed at or judged for my feelings . The paper felt like a metaphor to me , as I wrote how I felt and how grateful I was for this person I felt lighter in myself and once I sent the letter it felt like I had gotten so much off my chest that didn’t know I had buried inside myself . A gratitude letter is usually done to boost character strength and increase happiness in both people involved .

After completing the exercise, I felt an initial rush of gratitude for the person I chose to send it to, but I also found myself reflecting on how grateful I am for other people in my life and how they have impacted my life for the better . If I had chosen to send this letter in person and not anonymously like I did , I feel there would be a huge improvement in the relationship myself and the person share , perhaps they would have returned their gratitude they have for me , thus increasing my happiness even further and for a longer period of time . I found this exercise to be extremely beneficial yet the happiness and reminiscing only lasted for about a week or less . I feel it would be unrealistic to say I would repeat this exercise a couple of times a month to boost my happiness and the happiness of others , but what I would recommend would be to keep a gratitude journal . This journal would be personal and each night or even one a week one could write their own private gratitude letter or simply what they feel grateful that week or that day .

One research study that stood out to me when I was choosing which exercise to conduct was the study conducted by Chan, D.W., 2010. . The study’s aim was to see if and how gratitude can influence humility and happiness in school teachers , which in turn wold be extremely helpful for clients seeking coaching who need a fast boost of happiness in their lives . The teachers involved were asked to keep a weekly diary and write down or mention three good things that happened to them during the week and what they felt grateful for and record them using a count‐your‐blessings form. Results were astonishing as teachers were said to feel less symptoms of a burnout due to all the stress and work they had to deal with in the class room and at home .When the more grateful teachers who were involved in this experiment were compared with less grateful teachers who acted as the placebo for the experiment , the more grateful teachers said that meaning and gratitude were seen as vitally important for happiness . The teachers who took part in the gratitude exercise were also said to have a greater sense of achievement than the less grateful teachers. One could defiantly apply this to their own lives like I did in preparation for this assignment and take on their own happiness intervention . The results that are achieved speak for themselves .

How does gratitude contribute to coaching?

I would like to discuss something I feel has helped me in my search for gratitude and happiness . The law of attraction is an ancient law which simply helps one to have everything they want in life , given they have the correct tools and mindset to do so .From reading the book “the secret” , “ it shows us how to apply this powerful knowledge to your life in every area from health to wealth, to success and relationships.”

The Secret is everything you have dreamed of and wanted in life… and now it’s in your hands. Using this along with my strengths in gratitude I found myself looking at life in a much different way . Success is something we must attract not something that can just come to us . I feel that using gratitude and the law of attraction in psychology coaching we can fully charge our energy field with positivity that will help you to attract all the positivity that we desire . Our happiness is linked to what we are striving to become not what we can get out of it , that comes naturally with the changes we must start making to ourselves and that’s where psychology coaching can play a part . Coaching is helping one learn their potential in life to be or to get what they want , teaching someone to do this does not apply here, coaching psychologists are specialists in behaviour change they are not used to tell you or force you to change , coaches are the support behind it all .We can work on using gratitude to meet new people and make new friends as well as work towards making current friendships and family relationships better .Gratitude interventions or exercises similar to the one I carried out for this project can be used to apologize, fix or help solve other problems people may be experiencing in their lives , as well as give us a greater meaning to life. We cannot use gratitude in a selfish way , for example we cannot tell someone we are grateful for them or try to fix a situation to make ourselves feel better or to receive something in return such as compliments or gifts .We must use gratitude in the correct way to benefit from its powers and advantages.

When we look at gratitude and how this may be linked to the law of attraction or furthermore how it can be useful in coaching , we clearly see how clients can use this law as a tool to achieve happiness . The closer we are to the source of happiness and love the more we receive , gratitude comes into play here , counting our blessings and being grateful for what we have in life can attract more of this love and positivity into our lives . positive and happy Thoughts and actions help our brains in releasing chemicals in the body which in turn become positive or negative emotions. As someone who has been practicing the law of attraction for two years, I have found that when I actively and religiously announce why I am grateful and how lucky I am for the blessings in life , the more luck I receive . When we are releasing our positivity , kindness and love into the universe we attract positive energy back into our lives , it is key to be on the same wave length as the positivity we thrive to obtain in our lives . The more grateful we are the more good things we will receive and over time more rapidly.

Studies show that the use of gratitude in peoples lives contribute to overall happiness and success. Adolescents and young adults who report higher life satisfaction or positive affect earn significantly higher levels of income in later life or sometimes even in just a 10-year span of time . “The study’s results are robust to the inclusion of controls such as education, , physical health, gratitude, self-esteem, and later happiness.”( De Neve, J.E. and Oswald, A.J., 2012. ) . In coaching when one needs to be pushed in the right direction , promoting gratitude and happiness is the key to success , being disheartened and disappointed with your life will not help in achieving later success.

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It is said to have a major impact in mental health and well-being. In the signature strengths exercise I chose to develop on my strength of gratitude and humility which helped me in completing the gratitude letter but another way in which you could incorporate gratitude into coaching is using the signature strengths exercise developed by Seligman to promote happiness . Martin Seligman who created the VIA strength test to identify our signature strengths so that we can work on this strength and use them more in our live . Gratitude is one of the strengths listed in the VIA test . When we have identified our strengths and use them more daily, we can see more flow in our day to day lives and the more situations we use our strengths in the more our life the happier and more content we feel . This test is used a lot in coaching and helps so many people in identifying what they are good at rather than what they are bad at and find difficult . We waste so much time on fixing strengths we do not have or that we are not good at , instead of working on what comes naturally to us and makes us happier . In Seligman’s VIA , we can see that the strength that is closely linked with happiness is gratitude . Seligman, Martin E.P. (1991). Research has found several important links between these character strengths and valued outcomes (e.g., life satisfaction, achievement).

Gratitude not only benefits our mental health in several ways, but our physical health is also improved . If this is the case , gratitude exercise and the use of gratitude should most definitely be integrated into coaching .

Upon my research regarding coaching forums and online websites which offer coaching classes I came across ways in which gratitude may benefit the profession and the person seeking the coaching

  • Gratitude helps one cope with stress and trauma
  • Steers us towards becoming a better person
  • Strengthens relationships
  • Promotes self-worth and self esteem
  • Less likely to compare yourself to others
  • And many more examples. (Stewart , 2019)

When one seeks out coaching , gratitude is seen to be one of the factors which we need to take on to make fundamental changes in our lives , When we are feeling low and in some cases depressed and anxious it may be extremely difficult to turn around and list what we are grateful for , but starting small and simple will be the start in a new found happiness . Turning situations which bring us hurt and rage or frustration into something we are grateful for could be the start of a new intervention . For example , if an individual was having a particularly hard day and to top it off, they got caught in the rain , they should turn this into a positive where they should be grateful, they can feel the rain water on their skin and grateful they are able to walk the streets and be around nature . Not everyone is lucky enough to feel and experience these things . As we do this simple step every day, we begin to feel the emotions linked with this gratitude .

In a recent study which teaches us about effective ways to incorporate gratitude into coaching is a study conducted by (Emmons and McCullough, 2003) .One group in this experiment kept a gratitude journal and wrote in it every day for several weeks . Compared to another group which also kept a journal , they wrote things that annoyed them everyday . Results showed that those who kept he gratitude journal felt an inner joy , expressed happier feelings , succeeded in their goals , attracted good things and felt much more vibrant than the other group. They felt so much less energised and in turn unhappy which made them tired and unmotivated . Gratitude does not work when we compare ourselves to others . Just like in coaching you are working towards a better you , not a you who you are comparing to others .

Using the wheel of life which is a wheel made up of categories such as career , family , attitude , relationships etc , and incorporating it into gratitude may also be an option in achieving happiness and goals . We cannot make changes in our lives and look for more and more blessings in life until we can understand and be grateful for what we have . Using the wheel of life, we can identify what we are grateful for and only then , think of ways to expand our desires in each area . This is a very easy and helps us understand that balance can be good, and we do not need to thrive for perfection in each category . Alternatively, a wheel of gratitude may be needed before we turn to a wheel of life when one may find it difficult to identify their blessings. Along with all these points’ gratitude can be linked to happiness thus lengthening one’s lifespan and reducing chances of danger . Those who are more content and happier I their lives are more likely to avoid risky behaviour . An example of this would be from a study conducted by (Goudie et al, 2012) . Happier more grateful drivers are more likely to wear a seat belt whilst in the car , Goudie argued that risky behaviour in drivers is all due to an underlying sense of happiness in the individual themselves .

Gratitude is not just an action , it is a positive emotion we all have within us and when used properly it becomes important in serving us a purpose which brings us positivity.

In conclusion I would recommend using gratitude in positive psychology coaching . I have experienced its effects and benefits myself and there is so much research to back up its powers . Despite all these things , if we do not hold the correct mind set and optimism it is very difficult in believing the factors, I have discussed will help in achieving happiness . In a study which examines the “extent to which people believe Seligman’s analysis and which individual difference factors are related to these beliefs” , it shows us how different people with different characteristics may react to change . (Furnham, A., 2015) . It is interesting to see how different mindsets including a growth mindset may react to certain situations . This is a vital step I feel in coaching psychology as this may be a huge barrier for an individual who is seeking out help. The conclusion which was identified from this study was that “lay people” did not believe or agree with Seligman’s ideas and theory that characteristics we have could be changed by some sort of intervention like therapy or coaching . These beliefs that the lay people had were related to various characteristics and beliefs deeply ingrained into them. Questions were asked ranging from childhood trauma , Homosexuals cannot become heterosexual., Our moods, which can wreak havoc with our physical health, are readily controlled etc etc . This was an important area of study for Seligman as these individuals’ beliefs and thoughts about change and coaching/ therapy were related to pathways to help-seeking and advice giving . (Furnham, A., 2015)

Bibliography

  1. Stewart, J. (2019). Positive Psychology Coaching: 10 Amazing Discoveries About Gratitude. [online] Schoolofcoachingmastery.com. Available at: https://www.schoolofcoachingmastery.com/coaching-blog/bid/110298/Positive-Psychology-Coaching-10-Amazing-Discoveries-About-Gratitude [Accessed 1 Mar. 2019].
  2. Emmons, R.A., McCullough, M.E. and Tsang, J.A., 2003. The assessment of gratitude.
  3. Goudie, R.J., Mukherjee, S., De Neve, J.E., Oswald, A.J. and Wu, S., 2014. Happiness as a driver of risk‐avoiding behaviour: Theory and an empirical study of seatbelt wearing and automobile accidents. Economica, 81(324), pp.674-697.
  4. De Neve, J.E. and Oswald, A.J., 2012. Estimating the influence of life satisfaction and positive affect on later income using sibling fixed effects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(49), pp.19953-19958.
  5. Seligman, Martin E.P. (1991). Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. New York, NY: Pocket Books.
  6. Video – Martin Seligman talks about positive psychology
  7. Forgeard, M.J.C. and Seligman, M.E.P., 2012. Seeing the glass half full: A review of the causes and consequences of optimism. Pratiques psychologiques, 18(2), pp.107-120.
  8. Furnham, A., 2015. What you can and can’t change: Lay perspectives on Seligman’s Guide. Psychology, 6(12), p.1450.

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Gratitude And Coaching. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/gratitude-and-coaching/
“Gratitude And Coaching.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/gratitude-and-coaching/
Gratitude And Coaching. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/gratitude-and-coaching/> [Accessed 6 Feb. 2023].
Gratitude And Coaching [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2023 Feb 6]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/gratitude-and-coaching/
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