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My name is: Dr. Deepika Chopra.

I live in: Los Angeles, CA.

I’m known for being:

“The Optimism Doctor.” I hold a doctorate in clinical health psychology and have been focused on the science behind optimism, resiliency and happiness for the past thirteen years! I am also a visual imagery expert, podcast host and the creator of the Things Are Looking Up optimism deck of cards!

I’m talking about: The significance of self-gratitude!

Before I started practicing this, I was: Like most people working on a gratitude practice, but I was not anywhere on my gratitude lists. There is so much research to support the benefits of practicing gratitude, but a lot of the research actually focuses on being able to find things to be proud of or thankful to yourself for. Self-gratitude is often overlooked and one of the most potent forms of gratitude with a lot of upside.

My interest was sparked when: I was deeply entrenched in the work of optimism, resiliency and happiness during my graduate program and post-doctorate fellowship. Many people know of the benefits of gratitude, but aren’t quite sure of the best way to practice it. Gratitude can be a powerful daily exercise, but it can also become mundane and lose a lot of its impact if we don’t practice it in a way that feels authentic. In order to sustain a gratitude practice and keep it from going stale, it’s helpful to call upon things with a lot of specificity and switch up how you practice—sometimes it may be in a journal format, maybe other times it’s an out loud practice; sometimes it may incorporate other people, maybe other times it is an expression of creativity.

The idea behind it is: Self-gratitude seems simple, but it’s often more challenging than meets the eye. The idea is to make sure you are on your own daily gratitude lists or however you are mindfully cultivating your practice! Every day, find one thing for which you are thankful to yourself, one thing for which you feel proud of yourself. Take one-minute self-appreciation breaks three times a day right before breakfast, lunch and dinner! Find something you appreciate about yourself in that moment and try to stay in that thought for one minute! 

My work is an expression of gratitude because: What drives me the most is being able to bear witness to people authentically shifting, growing and elevating their quality of life. I am so grateful to be able to be a part of that and feel a  sense of honor and privilege to be given the chance to be moved and inspired by real transformation on a daily basis.

Gratitude improves your life—and our collective experience on this planet—because: Gratitude has been shown to increase happiness, harmony, resilience and acceptance—and research also shows gratitude actually drives sustainable action.

The words I live by are: There is no time wasted in getting to know, giving to or celebrating yourself.

One truth that is so important, but people don’t always realize is: When you undervalue and underappreciate yourself, the world will do the same.

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