Tag Archives: brain

Empathy and Gratitude – How?

Yesterday was a beautiful day, full of sunshine, so I went to the ocean. The sunset was lovely, families were on the beach, and all seemed well. When I returned home, I flipped on the TV and watched the terrible news about the freezing crisis in Texas, the power outages, the burst water pipes, and I felt awful watching those suffering families.

I wonder how can I feel two emotions, gratitude and empathy, in a matter of moments? Is it ok to feel blessed by the weather near my home while feeling horror watching the weather just a few States away? The suffering of the children in Texas is difficult to watch against the joy of the children on the beaches in California.

Najma Khorrami, in Psychology Today, described how empathy and gratitude are linked to each other through an explanation of neuroscience.

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Self Study: How Do I Find Gratitude?

Gratitude is deeply personal. The experience and felt emotion comes from within. One may find their gratitude when receiving help, assistance, kindness from others, in appreciation for recognition, when you feel pleased, experience a positive emotion, develop strong relationships with family members, friends, or other people in your community, improve your health or life circumstances, give to others, or through spiritual study. Your pathway to gratitude may follow one or more of a variety of events throughout your life.

Robert Emmons describes two parts of gratitude:

  1. An Affirmation of goodness in the world, gifts, and benefits;
  2. The sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves, and such helps us achieve goodness in our life.
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