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Some Surprising Benefits of a Attitude of Gratitude

November '15

Last Sunday morning I turned on the radio as I loaded the dishwasher. To my delight, I ran into the New Yorker Public Radio Hour for the first time. Featuring a wonderful blend of interviews, stories and classic New Yorker wit, it reminded me of why I tune into public radio so often. Whenever I hear the music that introduces one of my beloved shows, my happiness level always rises. I am so…o grateful for NPR.

Turns out this “attitude of gratitude” brings some surprising benefits. In this season when we gather to give thanks, I thought it might be fun to note them for you. What follows is a well-excerpted quotation of a Psychology Today blog listing seven scientifically proven rewards of what an attitude of gratitude will do for you.

— “Open the door to more relationships. Showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion.

Improve physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.

Improve psychological health. Robert Emmons, 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.

Enhance empathy and reduce aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kindly, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky.

Provide better sleep. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being…

Improve self-esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, an essential component to optimal performance.

Increase mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma.”

One of my favorite thanks giving moments occurred years ago when the family gathered around the table asked each person what they were grateful for. When we reached the youngest member, a tow-headed boy of four, he replied, “I’m grateful for pie!” We all laughed.

Why not cultivate this attitude of gratitude for yourself – any life events count large or small. What might you be thankful for this year? Please share your thoughts; I’d love to hear them and so might other readers.

May I add that I am deeply grateful to you for reading this monthly newsletter and sincerely appreciate your continuing interest.

Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving,
Bonnie

 

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