Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Expressing Gratitude

Friday, November 28th, 2008

How Expressing Your Gratitude (Greatly) Improves Your Well-being as Well as Theirs
“Religions and philosophies have long embraced gratitude as an indispensable manifestation of virtue, and an integral component of health, wholeness, and well-being,” according to University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons. Yet, these days, the simple act of giving thanks gets largely overlooked, save for say one day a year devoted to the occasion. Inherently you may feel that expressing gratitude is a positive thing, but scientific studies are beginning to bear out just how incredibly positive giving thanks can be.
As it turns out, gratitude has been described as the “forgotten factor” in happiness research, according to Emmons, and learning how to harness this factor in your daily life is a simple way to get a lot more out of life.
Being Grateful is Good for Your Mind and Body
Emmons and colleagues, in their gratitude research, have uncovered some startling (in a good way) findings about the power of giving thanks. Consider these amazing benefits:
• Greater Optimism and Physical Fitness: People who kept weekly gratitude journals exercised on a more regular basis, felt better physically and about their lives in general, and had a more optimistic attitude about the upcoming week than people who recorded negative or neutral things in a journal.
• Achieve Your Goals: Those who kept gratitude lists were closer to attaining their personal goals after a two-month period than those who did not.
• Stress Relief: Being grateful is also an effective way to release stress, according to Emmons. “Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress,” he said in a WebMD article.
• Greater Sense of Wellbeing and Positive Emotions: People who are grateful report higher levels of positive emotions, vitality and life satisfaction, and lower levels of depression and stress.
• Helps You Cope With Illness: Among people with a neuromuscular disease, Emmons found that a “21-day gratitude intervention” produced more “high-energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality, relative to a control group.”
Of course, being grateful is also beneficial for others. Giving thanks helps other people feel recognized, which is a basic and fundamental need in all of us.
How to Give Thanks and be Grateful in Your Daily Life
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