• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Friday, November 24, 2017


Mini Workshop III: Patterns and Possibilities

Gratitude and Kindness are key parts of genuine happiness.
Being Mindful of habitual interactions also contributes.

“[T]he positive, outward focus afforded by gratitude and kindness interventions mobilize the existing support that people have in their lives, enabling them to forge new or strengthened connections with others.

"[These findings are] consistent with prior research indicating an association between gratitude, kindness, and elements of improved relational functioning… [to]… predict the acquisition of positive relational resources ...” (Passmore, & Oades, 2016).

Mindful. Kindness. Gratitude.

What do these terms mean?

Let's define them.

Being Mindful is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

The concept of mindfulness originates in a term meaning to remember.

It combines remembering with a sense of non-judgmental acceptance, kindness and friendliness.

Kindness: is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Kindness changes hearts and lives.

In kindness intervention research, kindness is defined as “behaviors that benefit other people, or make them happy.” Researchers propose that these behaviors “usually involve some effort on our part” (Kerr et al, 2015), and suggest we look for 5 daily acts of kindness that we can do every day, with at least one of those acts being intentional.

What 5 kind acts can you do today—
 making one of those acts intentional?

"Kindness is a choice that can create change today"—now
  (Kerr, S. C.,2015).

“Positive emotion has an 'undoing effect' on damaging negative mood states, and is self-perpetuating, such that the experience of positive emotion can lead to an upward spiral ... [as] the context of ... one’s habitual ways of thinking are expanded and broadened …

 “Cultivat[ing] feelings of loving-kindness (directed toward the self and others)… [gives] purpose in life, social support, … and reduced negative affect and symptoms of illness ...

"Otake et al. (2006) examined the importance of kindness … [and observed] increases in happiness … in participants who had completed the most kind acts, whereas no increase in happiness was observed for the control group” (Kerr, S. C., 2015).

How many synonyms can you think of for the word Kind?

In a literature review of hundreds of studies about positive and negative affects on emotional and physical well-being, Ramsey and Gentzler provide evidence that positive interactions form “an upward spiral” of increasingly beneficial exchanges. 

Their research includes many other specific categories and “indicates that we all are actively influencing each other's positive [attitudes]” and that this is associated with “the quality of our relationships” (Ramsey & Gentzler, 2015).

In other research regarding couple relationships, we learn that this influence is so great that "when there is a discrepancy between individuals' self-views and a spouses' views, both change in ways to become more consistent with the views of the other. [Beware however,] that individuals and spouses are as likely to adopt negative views as they are to adopt positive views" (Cast & Cantwell 2007).

Gratitude: is readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness; the quality of being thankful.

“[G]ratitude is, in essence, a positive emotion beneficial for positive functioning, as well as broadening and building other positive emotions, which, in turn, result in an increase in emotional well-being” (CHIH-CHE, L. 2015, my emphasis).

“ [G]ratitude serves a social function in helping build and maintain relationships between family members and the wider kinship group.

More importantly, gratitude encourages individuals to focus their attention on the positive aspects of their life, in contrast with dwelling on negative issues and events.

Research … has linked gratitude with hope, life satisfaction, and more proactive behaviors towards others.

In conflict situations, reflect on the individual with whom you are in conflict. If a relationship is “less strong, reflect and identify one (or – even better – two or three) characteristics admired or appreciated in the other person. By expressing gratitude for these aspects of the person, and by focusing attention on these aspects, an anchor can be provided which may allow the relationship to develop . . .” (Passmore, & Oades, (2016).

Consistent daily choices change our connectedness and confidence, and begin in our thoughts. 

Elder David A. Bednar, of the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, teaches:

“Ordinary people who faithfully, diligently, and consistently do simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results" (Bednar, BYU’s 2011 Women’s Conference).


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Bednar, D. A. (2011). Small and simple things. BYU Women’s Conference Retrieved from
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