Why Does Gratitude Matter?
What Is Gratitude?
Robert Emmons, perhaps the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, argues that gratitude has two key components, which he describes in a Greater Good essay, “Why Gratitude Is Good.” “First,” he writes, “It’s an affirmation of goodness.” In the second part of gratitude, he explains, “We recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves.”
Be The Sun…
WHAT – Through research by Robert Emmons, from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley the happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky, and many other scientists, practicing gratitude has proven to be one of the most reliable methods for increasing, life satisfaction; it also boosts feelings of optimism, joy, pleasure, enthusiasm, and other positive emotions.
HOW – We can reframe anything that first appears negative to us. Instead of saying “I’ve got to…” say, “I get to…” From “I have to go to work” to “I get to go to work.” From “I have to visit my kids or parents” to “I get to visit my kids or parents.” It sounds simple because it is. That’s the beauty of moving from “got to” to “get to.” It moves us from salt on our roots to sun on our leaves.
• Gratitude is good for our bodies
• Grateful people sleep better
• Gratitude makes us more resilient
• Gratitude strengthens relationships
…Not The Salt
WHAT – Not being grateful affects your relationships. Make your Gratitude Muscles Strong! You will be better for it! Your life will be better for it! The lives of the people around you will be better for it!
HOW – We are faced with a million choices in our lives when it comes to interactions with other people. Especially when people irritate us. Whether we are grateful or not often depends on what road we take. It’s your choice. You can be pissed and petty or you can be gracious and forgiving. Avoid the angry/hurt/insulted version of anything. How you practice gratitude can even predict if a relationship is going to be strong or if it will fail. Harry explains in his latest video, “The magic ratio is over 3 positive to negative interactions.”
WHY – Showing appreciation only takes a few seconds, but the effects can last much longer than that, or at least resonate well beyond the moment that you show and share gratitude. But showing gratitude is more than saying, “thank you.” Exercising daily gratitude gives us a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Research shows that practicing daily gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress, and drastically improve our overall level of wellbeing.
For one of our followers, being kind was even more gratifying when the recipient took a moment to express her gratitude back. Lots of good feels all around!
We love hearing from our readers and positive energizers. Please share a story or photo of your experience while Being the Sun!
We wish you all well and encourage you to continue to practice gratitude this month! Help us celebrate National Gratitude Month by passing this letter on to a friend! If you’d like to receive future newsletters from our team, please sign up!