While it’s lovely to spend the month of November taking part in a “gratitude challenge” (like I have going on Facebook by the way), the true and lasting impact of practicing gratitude comes when you make it part of every single day. As my guy, Deepak Chopra, says - gratitude makes you an alchemist. It transforms dark into light, lack into abundance, and truly rewires your brain.
If you’ve ever listened to Oprah, then you know that she is a HUGE believer in the power of writing down your daily gratitudes. Apparently she has hundred of gratitude journals from over the years. I took up the formal, daily practice of gratitude journaling three years ago when I purchased them for Andy and myself for Christmas stocking stuffers. We quickly added the simple, yet transformative practice into our morning routine.
Rather than starting the day with emails, social media, or the news, we start ours with a positive dose of soul food. It truly sets the tone for my whole day!
Now you know I love my research so this week I want to share with you some of the researchy goodness I’ve found on the practice of gratitude!
Here's a little something from Positivepsychology.com by Heather Craig, BPsySc:
Research into gratitude and well-being has focused on 4 key areas which I will now look into. The first is psychological pathology. Being thankful has been shown to predict significantly lower risk of a range of diagnoses including major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, phobia, nicotine dependence, alcohol dependence, drug “abuse” or dependence, and the risk of bulimia nervosa (Wood et al., 2010).
The second aspect of well-being looked at involves emotional functioning. This is looked into from a subjective well-being approach. Gratitude is associated with high positive affect, low negative affect, and a high satisfaction with life. A number of studies have found that gratitude is associated with subjective well-being (more on this, later, too!) (Wood et al., 2010).
The third component of well-being that gratitude research has looked at is existential conceptions of gratitude. It has been found that gratitude is linked to psychological, or ‘eudaimonic’ wellbeing – which is a sense that one’s life has meaning, and that a person is living their life to the fullest (Wood et al., 2010). A couple of research studies have linked gratitude to eudaimonic wellbeing.
The final area which research into the relationship between gratitude and well-being is ‘humanistic conceptions’. This research has found that gratitude is strongly and positively correlated with ‘authentic’ living and negatively correlated with self-alienation (Wood et al., 2010). Some researchers have argued that gratitude serves an evolutionary purpose because it facilitates humans’ tendency to cooperate with non-family members (Wood et al., 2010).
Plus, research has shown that people who are regularly grateful:
So grab a journal and jump on the Gratitude Train with me! I guarantee your life with be transformed with this simple yet profound practice!
Meet Mary Baker ..LIFE COACH, YOGA TEACHER, MINDFULNESS GUIDE, RECOVERING PERFECTIONIST & PEOPLE PLEASER, FEAR CONQUEROR, TRUTH SEEKER, & DREAM WEAVER