It is likely that you have been rewarded for working hard and striving to obtain the next goal. While pushing yourself often precedes personal growth, it can muddle the importance of being grateful for the things you already have, the goals you’ve already obtained, and the progress you’ve made in life thus far. Like eating well and getting enough exercise, practicing gratitude is something you know you should put into practice. You know it could be beneficial. (Or else why would so many be advocating that you do it?). And yet, it seems like one more thing to add to your plate, to your already over scheduled datebook. Just writing a few sentences in a gratitude journal , or simply taking a moment to silently acknowledge all that you have, giving thanks can transform your life.
Gratitude is not only beneficial in romantic relationships, it can also enhance connection and satisfaction in friendships. Researchers at Florida State University conducted three studies whether expressing gratitude could enhance the strength of his or her relationship. In the first study, they found a positive correlation between participants who expressed gratitude to their partner and the shared strength of the relationship itself. In the second study, they found expressed gratitude to be a predictor of communal strength within the relationship over time. In the third study, participants who actually expressed their gratitude to a friend perceived the relationship as stronger than if they had simply thought about how grateful they were for their friend. All three studies support the notion that when you express gratitude to loved ones, rather than keeping your gratitude to yourself, it can strengthen the bond you have with them.
Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often are more likely to attend regular check-ups. And they also live longer.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive. People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well being. His research confirms that gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression.
Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner, even when others behave less kind, according to a study by the University of Kentucky… They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.
A two-week gratitude intervention increased sleep quality and reduced blood pressure in participants, leading to enhanced well-being (Jackowska, Brown, Ronaldson, & Steptoe). If you’re having trouble sleeping or just waking up feeling fatigued, try a quick gratitude journaling exercise before bed – it could make the difference between groggy and great in the morning!
Gratitude can help you feel better about your circumstances, which can lead to feeling better about yourself. A study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes self esteem, an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who are prettier or more handsome, have more money or better job is a major factor in reduced self esteem. Grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
Increases social support
Unsurprisingly, given the other social benefits of gratitude, those who are more grateful have access to more social support. The same study that confirmed this finding reported that higher gratitude also leads to lower levels of stress and depression, suggesting that gratitude not only helps you get the social support you need to get through difficult times, but it lessens the need for social support in the first place (Wood, Maltby, Gillett, Linley, & Joseph)!
Not only does gratitude improve mental health, but it also increases mental strength. That is, it can help overcome trauma and improve resilience in the face of trauma. A study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels gratitude experienced lower rate of post traumatic stress disorder. They also found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all that you have to be thankful even during the worst time, it fosters resilience.
We Help Clients With Gratitude Through Core Transformation
Core Transformation is a gentle guided process that leads us to heal and develop as human beings. Through Core Transformation you find that what you perceive as limitations in your life are actually doorways toward resolution. Imagine your most difficult problems actually having a positive aspect, something through which to learn, grow, and transform. Core Transformation gently guides you in discovering those positive intentions, leading to an experience of understanding, where awareness and change occur naturally.
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SYNERGY Holistic Health Center supports you in your journey towards health, happiness, and wholeness, and to provide a safe space for that transformation to unfold. Our commitment is to honor you and your choices, and to provide guidance, education, and skills to support your goals so that you can experience your optimum health and highest personal potential.
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