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“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” -Cicero
“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” -Brian Tracy, Best Selling Author and Professional Speaker
Gratitude is a universal concept. It is the feeling of being thankful. Gratitude is an attitude of positivity and appreciation. It involves seeing growth and opportunity in every experience, even if the experience appears to be particularly negative.
Gratitude is a feeling that occurs when we acknowledge a positive or valuable gift that we have experienced or have in our lives. The gift may take the form of a material possession we have received and something tangible and visible, such as a roof over our heads, water to drink or a car to transport us safely. Many times, though, gratitude is an emotion that is felt due to a gift that may not be visibly seen, held, or touched. Gratitude may be the result of an energetic connection with someone who is caring and supportive or a sense of care, ease, protection, and abundance that we feel after an emotional experience. Gratitude also comes with a positive approach to the world and the joy of experiencing pleasure from nature, the sun, a beautiful fall day or a hug.
RESEARCH ON GRATITUDE
Research finds that gratitude is strongly connected to increased mental, physical and psychological health. There are tremendous benefits associated with gratitude. A growing body of research suggests that grateful people are happier, more satisfied with their lives and have higher levels of personal well-being (McCullough, Emmons & Tsang 2002). Grateful people are more fulfilled in their relationships and have increased positive coping skills (they put less blame on others, abuse substances less, and use less avoidance tactics). Research by Wood and Maltby (2009) finds that grateful people have increased control of their personal growth and life purpose. They also have higher levels of self acceptance. Studies show that grateful people sleep better and are less depressed and stressed.
GET YOUR GRATITUDE GROOVE ON WITH RACHEL
Is your glass half full or half empty?
If you approach the world with feelings of gratitude, can you make a commitment to continue living out your positive attitude and becoming even more grateful?
If you are feeling a lack of positivity and good health (physical, mental, psychological) in your life, can you make a commitment to approach life with a more grateful attitude and cultivate what you want and need now?
It’s time to flex your gratitude muscle. I challenge (or should I say encourage?) you to join me in getting your gratitude groove on. I will continue to post prompts, exercises and activities that promote a grateful outlook and perspective.
GET YOUR GRATITUDE GROOVE ON EXERCISES, created by Rachel Dack
1. Make a commitment
2. Use your senses
3. Take in your gifts, opportunities and experiences
4. Let the alphabet guide your gratitude
5. Turn a negative experience into something positive
6. Be inspired by a quote on gratitude
7. Be grateful for the people who support you
8. Write a thank you letter
9. Make time to smile
RESEARCH STUDIES ON GRATITUDE
McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112-127.
Wood, A. M., Joseph, S., & Maltby, J. (2008). PersonalPages.Manchester.ac.uk, Gratitude uniquely predicts satisfaction with life: Incremental validity above the domains and facets of the Five Factor Model. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 49-54.
Kashdan, T.B., Uswatte, G., & Julian, T. (2006). Gratitude and hedonic and eudaimonic well-being in Vietnam War veterans. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 177-199.
Wood, A. M., Joseph, S. & Maltby (2009). Gratitude predicts psychological well-being above the Big Five facets. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 655-660.