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Article: Golfers Have A Lot To Be Grateful For

Golfers Have A Lot To Be Grateful For

Golfers Have A Lot To Be Grateful For

Isn’t it amazing to go out onto to a beautifully landscaped golf course in the early morning? No matter where you live, or your personal situation, there’s nothing like the escapism of golf to lift your spirits and play a sport where nature and the environment are integral to the game itself.

Be grateful for your friends too;they bring out the best in you, and without them you do not have the opportunity to play and share your moments of brilliance, joy and reminisce about past games.

Gratitude Is A Way Of Looking At The World

“No other game combines the wonder of nature with the discipline of sport in such carefully planned ways. A great golf course both frees and challenges a golfer’s mind.” TOM WATSON

Gratitude is a way of looking at the world and all the good things in it with a feeling of appreciation, regardless of whether your current situation is to your liking or not. Gratitude is a heart-centered approach to being at peace with yourself, and with all you have. When you practice this feeling of gratitude, it attracts even more things into your life for which to be grateful.  

Feelings of gratitude will always have a calming effect that lowers your tension level. Being grateful is acceptance in its purest form of your current situation. When you have gratitude, you become aware of the bigger picture. You are alive, healthy, and fortunate enough to be playing something you love.

Take A Moment To Reflect  

Research shows that gratitude improves well-being, increases happiness, and reduces stress. To help you get into a more grateful state, take a few minutes before your round, on the morning of your game, to reflect on what you like so much about golf. Take a look around, admire the scenery, and be thankful you’re in a position to be playing an amazing game in such beautiful surroundings.

Whatever is happening in a round of golf, there is always something to be grateful for. By exercising gratitude, you trigger the release feel-good chemicals such as Serotonin and Dopamine. To begin, let’s put the game of golf in perspective. For most of us that play golf, it is a game that we choose to do for fun. Whatever score you shoot, you are still playing golf. You are invariably in a beautiful setting and you are healthy enough to play.

Often we watch golf and say “how did they miss that putt?” Golf is that kind of game. So be kind to yourself, congratulate yourself after a good shot. Be proud, fist pump, show joy and be grateful. Write your best shots in your journal to remember your moments of brilliance; you’ll enjoy the game even more.

It’s More Than A State Of Mind

Researchers in Positive Psychology have found that gratitude and happiness are always strongly correlated. A possible theory is that gratitude moves you to experience more positive emotions, to thoroughly enjoy the good experiences, better your health, face adversity, and develop and maintain relationships of strength, which in turn makes you happier.

Let’s start with a gratitude definition. You’re probably familiar with expressing gratefulness by saying ‘thank you’ when someone does something nice for you. Yet it’s a more nuanced concept than simply expressing thanks. 

Gratitude is defined as a positive emotional reaction that serves a biological purpose. It’s the appreciation of the valuable and meaningful things in our lives. As one of the world’s leading experts in gratitude, Robert Emmons, explains in his essay on gratitude:  

“It’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good thingsin the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received.”

Why Gratitude Is Good

The social benefits are especially significant because, after all, gratitude is a social emotion. It is a relationship-strengthening emotion because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and appreciated by other people.

Indeed, this cuts to the very heart of the definition of gratitude, which has two components. First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.

The second part of gratitude is figuring out where that goodness comes from. We recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. It didn’t stem from anything we necessarily did ourselves in which we might take pride. We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but I think true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others: We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.

Your Golf Journal Is Really A Gratitude Journal

So how can you cultivate a growing sense of gratitude—and its positive side-benefits—on your own? It turns out that the tools used by psychologists in research studies—namely a gratitude or golf journal and some thank-you notes—are some of the best ones for boosting gratitude both on and off the golf course.

By writing down positive things that happen to you and actively acknowledging those who have helped you, you become better at recognizing the good in your life, which naturally helps you feel more grateful and thankful more often.

What Grateful People Have in Common

According to researchers at Eastern Washington University, there are four primary characteristics of grateful people, and these are the ones that thank-you notes and a gratitude journal can help tap, strengthen, and invigorate. People who experience the most gratitude (and therefore the positive effects) tend to:

  • Feel a sense of abundance in their lives
  • Appreciate the contributions of others to their well‑being
  • Recognize and enjoy life’s small pleasures
  • Acknowledge the importance of experiencing and expressing gratitude

Pay Attention To Life’s Positives

Whether or not these attitudes come to you naturally, paying attention to life’s positives can train you to see more and more of them, which will help you learn to be more grateful and appreciate your golf more.

You might feel blessed that good weather allowed you to get out for a round of golf, an afternoon walk, or that you enjoyed a beautiful dinner out with your family and friends.  Acknowledging all these things will help you cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

No matter what your life circumstances are, and how far from ideal your current situation may be, there is still truly a lot to be grateful for in each day. Practice an attitude of gratitude, and you’ll be amazed how much more fulfilling your life will be!

“The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” Allan K. Chalmers

Next steps

Like to try golf journaling for yourself? Ready to take your golf game to the next level?  Explore our Oneday Golf Journals HERE.

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