The Grateful Living

Are you thankful? If your immediate response is, “What the hell do I have to be thankful for!?” then the answer is, probably not. If that is the case then you might want to take a minute to see if you can spot a rose or two in your world and take a moment to pop your nostrils into close proximity, because the evidence is that feeling gratitude is all good for your overall wellbeing.

Research conducted by a professor of psychology at the UK College of Arts and Sciences recently involved a series of experiments designed to see how people who are grateful for aspects of their life differ to people who tend not to feel gratitude. The results fit with previous research showing that gratitude has positive impacts on the rest of your life.

The research tells us that people who feel gratitude are more likely to express sensitivity and concern for others; they are kinder people. What the latest studies have found is that gratitude also reduces aggression. People who feel gratitude also feel less aggression. Grateful people also experience less hurt feelings and are less sensitive overall.

What was really interesting about this latest research was that it showed that you don’t have to be a naturally grateful person to get these effects. Getting people to write a letter of thanks or mentally count their blessings was enough to decrease aggression and possibly might confer other of the benefits of gratitude as well.

What this means is that you don’t have to live in a permanent state of gratitude but engaging in it a few times a week should reduce your aggression and boost your overall sense of wellbeing. It is all about appreciating what you do have and not dwelling on what you do not, and that is a powerful and positive space to inhabit.

So make your motto to develop and attitude of gratitude and not only will you have the basis for a pretty funky rap song and a snappy t-shirt slogan but also the foundation for a happy life.

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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