The Science behind Gratitude & How It Can Change Your Life
Gratitude tends to put situations into perspective. When one can see the good in comparison to the bad, it can help to offer an “out” from being stuck in a mindset, or situation. It can even decrease the amount of dwelling on the negative and help to concrete positive thinking.
Gratitude helps us to realize what we have in our lives. Giving yourself the opportunity to look at your glass as half full rather than half empty enforces positive thinking and can even reduce the desire to have more material objects, or travel more places. Those things fall under instant gratification and as quickly as you obtain it, it depletes in the same time frame, making you search for more once again.
Gratitude can help to strengthen relationships, boost mental and physical health and can make us truly happier people. We firmly believe, when you differentiate between instant gratification and true appreciation for what you have, your accomplishments, and where you’re going, will be much more likely to have positive outcomes in your life and the life of others.
One of the best ways to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day. Acknowledge them, and take a moment to relish in it, and hold these things close to you as you journey through life.
Be Social About Your Gratitude Practice
Our relationships with others are the greatest determinant of our happiness. So it makes sense to think of other people as we build our gratitude. Robert Emmons suggests that focusing our gratitude on people for whom we’re thankful, rather than circumstances or material items, will enhance the benefits we experience. And while you’re at it, why not include others directly into your expression of gratitude? One Happy activity involves writing a gratitude letter to someone who had an impact on you whom you’ve never properly thanked. You could also share the day’s grateful moments around the dinner table. The conversations that follow may give you even more reasons to give thanks.
Below are 8 different ways that we’ve discovered gratitude can change your life for the better:
Although there is relatively little research to prove this, gratitude has been linked to better physical health, especially better sleep, and a decrease in levels of stress.
Create a state of Happiness
Gratitude has a different definition for different people. Amongst some of these definitions could be counting your blessings, savoring what life has given you, thanking someone or simply being in wonderment of the natural world around us.
Whatever form it takes, one of the best known and most researched effects of practicing gratitude is the happiness one gains in their life.
Enrich our children
Research is showing that gratitude has the power to deepen and strengthen our connections with others. Encouraging gratitude in children can have remarkable effects.
One study found that kids, who are more grateful, feel life has more meaning, get more satisfaction from life, are happier and experience less negative emotions.
Incorporating gratitude practices in everyday life can help to strengthen children’s bonds with their peers and elders which can help to provide a better environment for our children to reside.
Build stronger social ties
Being grateful to your partner for all the little kind things they do can make all the difference to a relationship. Just as close and intimate relationships benefit from gratitude; so do our wider ties to family and friends. Gratitude has been linked to many positive social outcomes.
People who are more grateful report better relationships with their peers.
Gratitude enhances people’s ability to form and nurture relationships, as well as boosting how satisfied they are with them.
When we say ‘thank you’ to others, it’s an expression of gratitude, but it can also act as a powerful motivator for them to help us again or to help others.
It could be as simple as sending a thank you email when someone has helped you out to a grand gesture making it well known that their help has truly benefited you, and your grateful.
It has been said that we should be ‘cold’ and ‘calculating’ to ensure we are make the right choices. Some say that emotions can get in the way of making proper decisions, and though in some cases that may be true, having gratitude for what you have, and happiness in your life, will help to boost your self-control and benefit you in making choices to continue your healthy and happy life.
This means that the general statement of being cold and calculated allows the best decision making process is not fully true, and that it is quite the reverse: the feeling of gratitude can in fact help people to make proper choices in their life.
The world’s technological advances have expanded so much so quickly, that it has given many opportunities for negativity. Bullying to children, even invasion of personal and professional privacy are just a few things that have become so common in today’s day and age. It’s vital to have good coping skills in a world that presents negativity in many avenues.
People with true gratitude tend to have just the coping skills necessary.
When faced with challenges in life, they tend to eschew denial, self-blame and substance abuse in favor of active coping, seeking support from others, positive reinterpretation and growth.
What are you grateful for?
2- Minute Exercise-
Think of three things everyday that you are truly grateful for, and without these three things your life would be poorer. Share it here; tell us why you’re grateful. As days pass, you will see the change it makes in your life and your ability to stay positive.