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The Gift of Gratutude

September 30, 2016

The Gift of Gratutude

GRATITUDE ISN'T JUST STATE OF MIND!

It has emerged that it can play a vital role in your physical and mental health. This happy emotion has traditionally been more of a philosophical source of interest. However, more recently, gratitude has been investigated with a scientific outlook.

For over a decade, the Professor of Psychology at UC Davis, Dr Emmos, has researched the positive effects of gratitude on people’s lives. His studies view gratitude as a practical tool to achieving better function in one’s life, instead of as an academic discipline. This is done through emotional self-regulation, a skill which promotes the ability to control happiness levels.

GRATITUDE CAN IMPROVE LEVELS OF HAPPINESS BY 25%

Dr Emmos claims that those who practice gratitude can improve their levels of happiness by 25%. Those who write gratitude journals for three weeks, for example, can improve their happiness levels for a period of up-to six months. Other health benefits such as better sleep are also a by-product of practicing gratitude.

Those who practice gratitude by being aware of the positive influences in their lives are generally happier and more content. In fact, their problem-solving skills and cognitive abilities seem to improve, as shown through tests. Their lives are healthier in terms of their chosen lifestyle. They have more successful and rewarding relationships, are more optimistic, and even increase their longevity.

HOW TO START YOUR GRATITUDE JOURNAL 

With this knowledge at hand, you’re probably wondering how you can improve your gratitude levels to reap these health benefits. The various steps you can take to improve your gratitude are quite simple and involve reflection on the positive experiences, influences and feelings you experience in your day-to-day life. One of the most successful ways of doing this is to keep a gratitude journal.

  1. Buy a blank book and keep it next to your bed.
     
  2. Take five to 10 minutes every night to write about the things you were grateful for that occurred during the day. These can include things that give you pleasure such as experiences, sounds and sights. For example, a loving gesture such as a hug from a family member or friend, a beautiful sunrise, learning something new, doing well in a work task or catching up with an old friend.
     
  3. Take some time to picture the scenario in detail and make notes of these. Also, take a couple of minutes to re-live the experience and feel the good emotions which come with this.
     
  4. Past encounters are also important, so remember to include these in your journal.
     
  5. Start getting grateful and reap the health rewards!