Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice. People who are thankful for what they have age better are able to cope with stress, are happier and better able to reach their goals. There is so much to be said for the benefits of cultivation of the spirit of thankfulness year-round.
Having and Attitude of Gratitude Can Change Your…
- Stress Levels – Robert Emmons, a well-known mental health specialist, conducted several studies on stress and health which indicated that gratitude effectively releases stress hormones and increase positive emotions like happiness. People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions and are better able to reach their goals.
- Relationships – Studies have looked at how gratitude can improve relationships. For example, a study of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.
- Happiness – Grateful thinking promotes the savoring of positive life experiences. By relishing and taking pleasure in some of the gifts of your life, you will be able to extract the maximum possible satisfaction and enjoyment from your current circumstances.
People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.
Focus On Experiences Instead of Material Goods
In Cultivating Gratitude in a Consumerist Society, Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University discusses research that shows experiential gifts give greater satisfaction than material ones and that experiential gifts lead to higher levels of gratitude. Becoming grateful for each day of our lives. Scientific research links gratitude with generosity and healthier interpersonal relationships. Research also suggests that one way to promote gratitude is to invest in experiences rather than material goods because experiences are more likely to produce deeper and longer lasting feelings of gratitude.
- What is an experience you have had for which you are grateful? What is a material possession for which you are grateful? Has one made you happier over the long-term than the other?
- Does gratitude affect your spending patterns? Do you consider what you will be more grateful for ten years down the line?
- Can you think of a time when gratitude for an experience cultivated generosity toward others?
- The article concludes with a question that is worth contemplating: “How can we cultivate gratitude in our increasingly materialistic, consumerist world?”
The Study, Cultivating Gratitude in a Consumerist Society, Aims To…
- Expand the scientific database of gratitude, particularly in the key areas of human health, personal and relational well-being, and developmental science
- Promote evidence-based practices of gratitude in medical, educational, and organizational settings and in schools, workplaces, homes and communities
- Engage the public in a larger cultural conversation about the role of gratitude in civil society
Practical Ways to Harness Gratitude In Your Life…
- Keep a Gratitude Journal – Create a journal or list where you actively write down exactly what your are grateful for each day. It has been proven that people who kept a gratitude journal reported exercising more, having fewer visits to the doctor and all in all feeling healthier and happier. Use the right words. words matter. Positive words, such as “peace” and “love,” can alter the expression of genes, strengthening areas in our frontal lobes and promoting the brain’s cognitive functioning. They propel the motivational centers of the brain into action and build resiliency. “Gratitude is the heart’s memory,” Therefore, one of the first steps to thankfulness is to remember those in our lives who have walked with us and shown kindness for deeds big and small.
- Create Gratitude Letters – A powerful exercise to cultivate gratitude is to compose a “gratitude letter” to a person who has made a positive and lasting influence in your life.
- Pass Gratitude On – Give back, If someone does an act of kindness for you, one way to say thanks is to do the same for another. It is wonderful to see a person smile and even more wonderful knowing that you are the reason behind it.
- Start Each Day With Gratitude – Start each day by thinking of all the things you have to be thankful for is one way to put your mind on the right track. Remember that your future depends largely on the thoughts you think today. So each moment of every day is an opportunity to turn your thinking around, thereby helping or hindering your ability to think and feel more positively in the very next moment.
We Help Clients Create Gratitude Through Meditation
Meditation traditions and practices are as ancient as time itself, and as modern as the latest scientific techniques. We now know, for example, which areas of the brain respond to different types of meditation and how the brain and body are affected by meditation. All results so far indicate meditation is one of the best ways to improve your health, well-being and happiness.
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We Help Clients Create 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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