Gratitude-embracing personal growth and empowerment

Gratitude-embracing personal growth and empowerment

It is said that the best attitude is gratitude. There are many quotes, studies, articles, books or movies about the gratitude that in one way or another call to attention that human beings, among others, have a very powerful tool at their disposal, highlighting the fact that if this is effectively used in our daily life, it will adequately bring our inner peace and serenity close to its natural state and us to wellbeing.

If we portray a normal daily routine, we can see people keeping themselves busy with a tight schedule of work, business, travel, food, entertainment, family and friends or any other engagement anywhere, and the cycle keeps repeating over and over again, as you ask for more every day without realizing that this path will only push towards a consumerist culture and keep us busier. Because of this continuous struggle we tend to forget that the key to abundance is gratitude.

Gratitude is being aware of and thankful for the good things you have. These good things are not necessarily material possessions. They can be relationships, situations, or anything positive in your life. Gratitude is a feeling that might come to you spontaneously, but it’s also a daily practice that you can cultivate. Choosing to count your blessings and taking the time to be grateful for good things in your life can have far-reaching positive effects.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences and attract prosperity. Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.

The study showed that “one group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation”.

In another recent evidence study published by Joshua Brown, and Joel Wong, in 2017 suggests that a promising approach is to complement psychological counseling with additional activities that are not too taxing for clients but yield high results. Indeed, many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed.

They found that “across the participants, when people felt more grateful, their brain activity was distinct from brain activity related to guilt and the desire to help a cause. More specifically, they found that when people who are generally more grateful gave more money to a cause, they showed greater neural sensitivity in the medial prefrontal cortex, a brain area associated with learning and decision making”. This suggests that people who are more grateful are also more attentive to how they express gratitude.

Most interestingly, when they compared those who wrote the gratitude letters with those who didn’t, the gratitude letter writers showed greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex when they experienced gratitude in the fMRI scanner. “…this is striking as this effect was found three months after the letter writing began. This indicates that simply expressing gratitude may have lasting effects on the brain. While not conclusive, this finding suggests that practicing gratitude may help train the brain to be more sensitive to the experience of gratitude down the line, and this could contribute to improved mental health over time”.

As the science suggest, to preserve a healthy mental attitude we have to start practicing the gratitude repeatedly and making it indispensable part of our life. Start being grateful now. Be grateful for your things around, your life, your ability to think and understand, people in your life, your belongings, food and existence and you will observe that your life path starts to change as well. A famous author, Bruce Lipton says that at the moment you change your perception, is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body, as person’s mind, heart, and body are all interconnected and interdependent.

Lastly, making gratitude a behavioral habit, will have so much power that not only help us on daily basis but also on the long run making us amazing human beings. We know that it isn’t always possible to change your circumstances, but you can change where you focus your mind and heart. Making gratitude a daily practice can increase your happiness and even improve your health. Gratitude opens the doors of the abundance. Through thankfulness and gratitude we just open the gates for more.