Let’s first start off with a question: Are you looking for more from your work and your life?
That more might look like this…
More happiness? More fulfilling relationships?
More productivity? Better health?
If you are nodding your head in agreement to any of these, then I have another question for you…
What if I told you that just one simple thing could help you across all of these areas?
Prefer to watch? Here’s the video:
An Attitude of Gratitude
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is actually one of the simplest and most powerful ways to improve your life.
I admit – I used to think gratitude was a little cheesy. Yet, I kept hearing about it so, being skeptical, decided to take a look at the research… if there was any.
As it turns out, there’s quite a lot and what the studies show is powerful. In summary, there are many concrete benefits to connecting with the feeling of gratitude on a regular basis.
Since ancient times, philosophers and sages have taught that cultivating gratitude is a key to experiencing more happiness, fulfillment, and well-being. (And science and philosophy alike show us that gratitude is more than just a nice idea.)
More recent studies show that an “attitude of gratitude” is even a good health choice.
Benefits of Gratitude
Gratitude is an emotion connected to our ability to feel and express thankfulness and appreciation. Research by psychologist Robert Emmons – a leading gratitude researcher – found that people who consciously focus on what they’re grateful for experience more emotional wellbeing and physical health than those who don’t.
In comparison with control groups, those who actively cultivated a grateful perspective also experienced:
1. Improved physical health and well-being: Several studies show that a practice of gratitude is linked to better health including stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure. Grateful people are also more likely to keep up with regular exercise and take better care of their health. It’s also linked to improved sleep and having more energy and enthusiasm overall.
2. Improved relationships and social well-being: Studies also show that people who practice gratitude experience more feelings of connection and those lead to deeper, more fulfilling social life and relationships. They were also more likely to help others and to put things into a larger context – both qualities that led to improved relationships at work and at home.
3. More positive emotions such as joy, optimism and happiness: Robert A. Emmons also has multiple studies confirming that gratitude effectively increases happiness and can reduce anxiety and depression. And a 2008 study by psychologist Alex Wood in the Journal of Research in Personality also shows that gratitude can reduce the frequency and duration of depression. (This also results in less stress even during trying times.)
4. Greater progress toward important goals: In a long-term research project on gratitude, Professors Robert A. Emmons, University of California, and Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami made some incredible discoveries. They found that participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important goals over a 2-month period.
5. Less stress and more resilience: There are a number of studies showing that in the face of serious trauma, adversity, and suffering, if people have a grateful disposition, they’ll recover more quickly. Gratitude gives you a different perspective from which you can interpret negative life events to help guard against lasting stress and anxiety.
Gratitude is a powerful tool that we can use to expand our happiness, create more loving relationships, meet more of our professional goals, and even improve our health.
And as the research shows, if you want more happiness, energy and joy – gratitude is clearly an important quality to cultivate. Being more grateful more often makes us happier and more optimistic.
So how can you actually implement gratitude in your personal and professional life? In my next article, I will be giving you a few simple steps to incorporate gratitude a little more each day. Stay tuned!
Any of these gratitude practices has the power to transform your life in a very positive way. But everyone is different in what might work for them.
That’s why I want to offer you a few more gratitude action steps that can greatly impact your work and life (and ones I’ve seen major results with for my clients – and in my own life).
Once you take a peek, let me know what you think by sending me a quick email. What’s most important is that you take a few moments to focus your mind on your blessings and allow yourself to connect with the feeling of gratitude.
So as another Thanksgiving holiday is upon us… what are you grateful for today?
Let me know in the comments below!