This time of the year is for giving thanks for being grateful for the people and things we have in life. Aside from being grateful, Experts Say Giving Thanks Actually Makes You Happier and that makes me quite happy to hear!
In a study discussed in the Harvard Healthy Publishing for Harvard Medical School, it mentions that two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.
In the study, one group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third group wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative).
What they found was that after 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation. Basically, they were happier and their overall wellbeing was better.
Other studies have even shown how employees work harder and benefit from receiving praise and gratitude from their bosses. I mean, I know I am more inclined to work hard when I feel like I am doing a great job so it only makes sense.
In this day and age when we are surrounded with chaos, stress and upsetting news every where we look, it’s easy to forget to be grateful for the people in our lives and things we do have. November and Thanksgiving are not the only time to show our gratitude either, you can spread gratitude and bring happiness any time in the year.
The Harvard Article gave some great ways you can cultivate gratitude saying:
“Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.
Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.
Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.
Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.
Pray. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.
Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).”
The bottom line is – be grateful, give thanks and spread happiness around like it’s glitter (because that stuff gets everywhere).
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