Is-Gratitude-Really-a-Game-Changer

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

According to loads of research from University of California, UC Davis´s Robert Emmons, Harvard, Yale, Berkeley and many others, feeling gratitude will improve nearly ALL of life’s challenges, overcome stress, anxiety, trauma, mental health issues, physical health, more fulfillment in relationships, at work and more.

We all experience challenges in life from time to time. However, if we don’t have any challenges in life, then eventually our life experience becomes rather boring. I speak here from personal experience. Sure, many people would say, “man if I didn’t have any problems that would be great!” True but for time then boredom starts to creep in. Now I am not about huge problems but those interesting challenges we all face.

 

If you´ve ever noticed we like new things, changes and novelty. Think about the new car, the new house, the new spouse but then those positive emotions start to wear off quite quickly. A we go looking for another fix or another emotional high. Always searching but never satisfied. It´s akind to trying to fill a cup with a hole in the bottom.

 

Very few practices have such an overwhelming positive effect on our lives as feeling gratitude. When you learn to feel grateful for all the things we have, I guarantee over time it will improve any emotional  suffering. It helps alleviate stress, anger, depression, anxiety, sadness and many other types of emotions that make us feel bad.

Feeling Grateful helps us magnify positive emotions and of course in the process diminishes our negative emotions.

Gratitude In the workplace:

  • Grateful leaders inspire trust
  • Gratitude energizes people
  • Gratitude motivates people to work more
  • Gratitude turns work from “a should” to “a want to”.

Gratitude Mental Health:

A large-scale study of more than  31,000 people discovered that feeling gratitude is associated with enhanced subjective well-being throught your entire life.

Thankfulness and appreciation is a powerful tool in your life!

Gratitude help people with PTSD. A study of Vietnam war Veterans with PTSD found that daily gratitude practise was associated with Increased resilience to trauma.

  • Reduces Traumas 
  • Reduces suspicious and paranoid
  • Reduces Anxiety
  • Enhances trust
  • Build Self-Esteem

So you can see, the point is feeling grateful will solve emotional distresses and even help illnesses.So

Gratitude and Health:

Think of it the word disease…. 

Think about the word “dis-ease” perhaps caused by a lack-of-ease or internal peace.

I witnessed and also read cases of people developing serious illnesses such as cancer due to their emotions. Very freaky but very true. I know 2 such cases personally. Obviously, not every illness is caused directly by emotion but it does significantly affect how efficient your bodies defenses will cope.

Gratitude In Relationships:

Studies show people who feel appreciated for what they do in a relationship, feel much more satisfied in that relationship.

In addition, feeling grateful increases the feeling of relationship connection and satisfaction; according to research  by practising gratitude it acts as a kind of “booster-shot” for our romantic relationships. Gratitude boosts your oxytocin levels that feel good chemicals in our body. Further, iteffect our neurology. It increases serotonin levels and dopamine according to research.

Examples to build gratitude in a relationship might be:

  • Prepare a coffee for your partner or friend
  • Taking out the trash, washing the dishes, 
  • Run an errand for your partner from time to time
  • The more chores you do the more satisfied in the relationship 
  • Pick someone up from work or the airport etc…
  • Other “unexpected acts of kindness”

More trust you create the stronger bonds you will build

Interpersonal benefits of gratitude:

Psychologists Patrick McNamara and Robert Emmons define gratitude as:

 

Feeling grateful stem from two stages of processed information: 

(1) an affirmation of a ‘good things’ in one’s life and 

(2) the recognition that the sources of this goodness lie at least partly outside oneself.

When one person acknowledges receiving a valuable benefit from another person, [gratitude] helps regulate relationships.”

 

Because the emotions of gratitude motivates us to acknowledge others, expressing gratitude helps us strengthen social bonds.

For example, in our relationships, research demonstrates that our gratitude acts as a social cue, helping others to recognise that we are a good partner, not a selfish free-loader.

 

Even more, gratitude provides positive reinforcement, encourages and almost guarantees beneficial behaviour towards us again in the future.

 

One study published in the magazine Emotion found that expressing gratitude was positively associated with the outcome of future relationships.

 

Psychologists have compared gratitude to other emotions, builds trust and brings us closer to people. This is because being truly appreciative of those who have helped us in some way involves an admission of our interdependence and vulnerability.

When we learn to feel grateful, we learn to appreciate the value of something and as a result we are less likely to depreciate its value over time.

How to increase your Gratitude:

Every morning I have a meditation or prayer ritual of feeling grateful but the amazing thing rarely has a problem except for those few problems I allow to enter my life. For example, sometimes I over invest in another person’s progress, yes it’s a form of love but in some cases can include a bit of egoism as many therapists might do inadvertedly according to ex-harvard professor Richard Alpert and others.

Journaling:

Is a great way to identify what things you could be grateful for in your life. By writing it down on paper makes it that much easier to grow your awareness of things to be thankful for. Large organisations have forced employees to practise journaling and these employees admit that over a short period they start to appreciate things in their life more. I am not advocating to force people to journal but I do find the research results interesting.

Meditation:

Meditation on thankfulness is similar to a mindfulness meditation practice but instead the focus would be on feeling grateful and thankful.

Prayer:

Interestly, all 3 of the world’s main religions include gratitude prayers. In Judaism it´s the morning prayer Birchot Hashacher, Islam Quran and the Sunnah and the Christian practise being grateful for the good and the bad. Considering the antiquity of these 3 religions there most probably some value in the practise of gratitude.

Visual Reminder:

Maybe having posters and stickers around your computer and in areas you spend lots of time such as on the walls with post-its and reminders.

Watch out for Gossip and Negative Speech:

Try to avoid this negative habit that so many people have. Gossiping and speaking negatively about other people is the opposite of being grateful. So learn to watch your tongue and avoid toxic people who like to gossip. You can be certain these people will be gossiping about you behind your back. Further, when we speak negatively about others they subsciously associate those negative feelings with the person who is gossiping.

Why is gratitude important , well aside from 100´s of studies. Gratitude effects your mind and body in an extremely positive way.

I was twice in hospital facing the real possibility of death. It was an awesome experience for personal growth. I think more should have such an experience at least once with 100% recovery of course.

I wish that all the days of your life will be filled with love, happiness and  fulfillment