“The paradox of education is precisely this, that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.”
7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Be Grateful Year-Round:
It’s that time of year where many people begin thinking about everything they have to be thankful for. Although it’s nice to count your blessings on Thanksgiving, being thankful throughout the year could have tremendous benefits on your quality of life.
In fact, gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous. Research reveals gratitude can have these seven benefits:
1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2104 study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. So whether you thank a stranger for holding the door or you send a quick thank-you note to that co-worker who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities.
2. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups with their doctors, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.
3. Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kind, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.
5. Grateful people sleep better.Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
6. Gratitude improves self-esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychologyfound that gratitude increased athlete’s self-esteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs – which is a major factor in reduced self-esteem- grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
7. Gratitude increases mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War Veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all you have to be thankful for – even during the worst times of your life – fosters resilience.
We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have – rather than complain about all the things you think you deserve. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.
So, how to cultivate gratitude exactly?
As part of my work with clients, each is required to text first thing in the morning three things that they are grateful for. And again three more gratitudes just before sleeping. For 90 days. That’s 540 different gratitudes over the course of three months. What is the demonstrative effect? Almost all of my clients in conjunction with a few other daily exercises consistently report a depression score of 0-1 which means either non-existent or minimal depression. This is without anti-depressant medication (SSRI’s Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Lexipro etc…). Quite literally – we go Beyond Therapy.
Want to lean more? or be added to the mindfulness counseling schedule (currently on a short wait-list): 941.416.1890 or email: Michael@mbsgroup.org
We also begin a new meditation class Tonite in Tampa or it can be viewed on-line. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll be teaching Mahamudra meditation which explores the nature of mind – thoughts, emotions, identity and consciousness itself. These instructions are the exact method used to gain liberation from suffering or enlightenment for the last several thousand years in the Buddhist tradition and has been my primary meditation practice for the last twenty years including the instructions taught during three year retreat in Tibet. All are welcome although a minimum 45 minute daily commitment to meditation is required for attendance. 🙏
The 12 week meditation course begins Tonite in Tampa and is held every Wednesday from 6:30-8:30 pm in Tampa at the Centre for Women in the back conference hall. The course can also be viewed on-line. If these precious classes are missed or you want to view them again they are recorded and can be viewed at your convenience on our Vimeo site. A minimum 45 minute daily meditation commitment is required for attendance. I will give precise instructions so there is no need to worry. The book used for the class is titled, “Mind at Ease,” and can be downloaded on Kindle for $10. All are welcome to attend and meditation – like gratitude, will offer you a very different and healthy way to experience the beauty that is your very life.