Scientific benefits of gratitude:
1. Gratitude makes us happier.
Taking just five minutes a day to write down your gratitude in a journal can combat symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is documented that those who journal their thankfulness sleep better and worry less.
2. Gratitude makes others like us more.
Gratitude generates social capital. It’s easy to see why people are drawn to positive, thankful people, versus the negative, pity me attitude. Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends, deepen our existing relationships, and improve our marriage.
3. Gratitude makes us healthier.
It is proven that counting your blessings help to reduce physical symptoms, lessen physical pain and even improve sleep quality.
4. Gratitude makes us less materialistic.
Materialism is strongly associated with reduced well-being and increased rates of mental disorder. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more. The problem with materialism is that it makes people feel less competent, reduces feelings of relatedness and gratitude, reduces their ability to appreciate and enjoy the good in life, generates negative emotions and makes them more self-centered. Being grateful reminds us of what we ALREADY have, rather than what we chase after in the day to day grind.
5. Gratitude makes our memories happier.
Our memories are not set in stone, like data stored on a hard-drive. There are dozens of ways our memories get changed over time – we remember things as being worse than they actually were, as being longer or shorter, people as being kinder or crueler, as being more or less interesting, and so on. Experiencing gratitude in the present makes us more likely to remember positive memories, and actually transforms some of our neutral or even negative memories into positive ones. In one study, putting people into a grateful mood helped them find closure of upsetting open memories. During these experiences, participants were more likely to recall positive aspects of the memory than usual, and some of the negative and neutral aspects were transformed into positives.
6. Gratitude increases your productivity.Those who are insecure have difficulty focusing because many of their mental resources are tied up with their worries. On the other hand, those who are highly confident are able to be more productive, because they can direct more of their focus towards their work. This operates at both a conscious and subconscious level – we may be getting mentally distracted by our worries, or more commonly, parts of our subconscious mind are expending energy to suppress negative information and concerns.
The staff and management of The Forest Image is grateful for the support of the Lake Houston community.
Thank you for a very successful first year back in print.