gratitude

A daily dose of gratitude encourages health, happiness and vibrancy - researchers assert

Friday, December 14, 2012 by: Carolanne Wright
Tags: gratitude, happiness, research

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Delicious
(NaturalNews) With all the insanity in the world, it is easy to become bogged down with negativity. Destructive weather, economic meltdowns, a toxic environment, GMOs. The list could go on forever. It is natural to become disillusioned, depressed and hostile in light of such bad news. But researchers have discovered that even when the environment around us is cloaked in apparent darkness, we can still be happy, healthy, alert -- and make a positive impact. As we become more appreciative, vibrancy and energy returns, stress is reduced and we are able to connect with others in a beneficial way.

The science behind gratefulness

Doctors Blaire and Justice at the University of Texas Health Science Center believe that "gratitude is truly amazing in its physical and psychosocial benefits." A tall order for something as simple as feeling grateful, but research has found that an orientation of gratitude will:

- Encourage higher levels of alertness, vitality, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy

- Reduce physical symptoms like headaches, coughing, nausea or pain

- Boost immunity in both sick and healthy persons

- Lower stress response and blood pressure

- Curb depression and anxiety

- Cool anger and diminish resentment

- Cultivate compassion and empathy

- Increase positive social connections

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., from the University of California Davis, confirms these benefits. Emmons, along with his colleague Mike McCullough of the University of Miami, conducted an experiment where participants were given one of three tasks. A weekly journal was kept by each randomly assigned individual either recording grateful thoughts, hassles and frustrations or neutral circumstances that were neither positive nor negative. After 10 weeks, those in the gratitude group were 25 percent happier about their lives than the group that documented frustrations. They also had fewer health complaints and exercised longer by 1.5 hours.

Another study found that individuals with congenital and adult-onset neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) also benefited from gratitude journaling. For those who kept a gratitude journal, quality of sleep was enhanced with longer hours and a more refreshed feeling upon waking. They also felt increased optimism about the upcoming week, more satisfaction with their lives and a greater connection to others compared with the non-journaling participants in the study.

Practices for cultivating gratitude

This all sounds well and good, but how do we begin to instill more gratitude into our hectic days? A common theme among positive psychologists: start small and slow down. Here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling:

- Keep a daily gratitude journal

- Appreciate nature, a good meal or an object of beauty

- Write a detailed thank you note

- Count blessings each day

- Spend a few moments in silent prayer with a focus on thankfulness

- Show appreciation for a coworker, mate or family member

Reality check

Still daunted by the idea of cultivating a grateful orientation day in and day out? Michigan positive psychologist Christopher Peterson offers a bit of insight:

"I'm not a Pollyanna. And obviously, someone who's unrelentingly cheerful can be a pain in the ass. ... There are no long-term quick fixes for happiness. So if you become a more grateful person and you add those exercises to your repertoire, you'll be different six months or a year from now. But if you say okay, I'm done with the story and I'm going back to the way I was, it'll just have been a six-week high. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not going to permanently change you."

Sources for this article include:

"The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier" Ocean Robbins, Huffington Post, November 4, 2011. Retrieved on December 5, 2012 from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

"In Praise of Gratitude" Harvard Health Letter, November 2011. Retrieved on December 5, 2012 from: http://www.health.harvard.edu

"Extending the Tradition of Giving Thanks Recognizing the Health Benefits of Gratitude" Grif Alspach, RN, MSN, EdD, Editor, Critical Care Nurse, December 2009. Retrieved on December 5, 2012 from: http://ccn.aacnjournals.org/content/29/6/12.full

"Why Gratitude is Good" Robert Emmons, Greater Good, November 16, 2010. Retrieved on December 5, 2012 from: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_gratitude_is_good

"10 Ways to Become More Grateful" Robert Emmons, Greater Good, November 17, 2010. Retrieved on December 5, 2012 from: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu

"A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day" John Tierney, The New York Times, November 21, 2011. Retrieved on December 5, 2012 from: http://www.nytimes.com

"Stumbling toward Gratitude" Catherine Price, Greater Good, Summer 2007. Retrieved on December 5, 2012 from: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu

"Fulfillment at Any Age" Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., Psychology Today, May 25, 2010. Retrieved on December 5, 2012 from: http://www.psychologytoday.com

About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, wellness coach and natural foods chef, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Thrive-Living/4995788...

For Pinterest fans: www.pinterest.com/thriveliving/

Find at Google+: www.goo.gl/cEZiyR

Diaspora*: carolanne@pod.orkz.net

Tsu: www.tsu.co/ThriveLiving

and Twitter: www.twitter.com/Thrive_Living

Read her other articles on Natural News here:

www.naturalnews.com/Author1183.html

Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Gratitude at FETCH.news
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.