Cella’s Chat: Gratitude – Can It Really Change Your Life?

Do you realize how gratitude can change your life? How does gratitude promote well-being? I make it a practice to say five things I am grateful for daily. I never could have imagined this simple habit could change my life as it has, bringing positive results in every way. Today I sat for a moment and took a walk backward in time, thinking about the beautiful life changes that have taken place. When I allowed myself to be thankful for the way things were – instead of “wishing” my life away on what I didn’t have, the doors opened up and great things started to manifest. Examples would be a healthy relationship (marriage), finally quitting a job that was joyless to working and living my passion, inspiring others to heal and live their passion and the list goes on. Some facts about gratitude are: gratitude makes you happy. Yes, a five minute a day gratitude journal can promote happiness and wellbeing – improving your health, relationships, emotions, personality and career. I mean, winning the lottery sounds great right? However, because of hedonic adaptation, we quickly get used to the money and stop having as much fun with it as we once did, hence going back to not feeling satisfied and happy. How about the fact that gratitude generates social capital? According to an article written by Amit Amin (The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life) in two studies with 243 total participants, those who were 10% more grateful than average had 17.5% more social capital. Gratitude makes us nice, more trusting and social not to mention, more appreciative. This results in deeper relationships and improved marriages. Not bad, right? Did you know that gratitude can boost your career? It makes you a more effective manager, helps you network, increases your decision making abilities, productivity and helps you get mentors and protégés. So, this results in a greater ability to achieve your career goals and makes the workplace a friendlier atmosphere to be in. A few other great benefits is that is boosts our emotions, helps develop our personalities, creates optimism and reduces materialism…just to name a few. Psychological and behavioral research has shown the surprising life improvements that can manifest from the practice of gratitude. A study was conducted by psychologists Michael McCollough (Southern Methodist University) and Robert Emmons (University of California) on the act of gratitude. The study broke the group up into three parts – the participants of all three groups were asked to keep a journal. The first group kept a journal on events that happened during their day – not necessarily good or bad; the 2nd group was asked to record unpleasant experiences; the last was asked to make a list daily of things they were grateful for. The results of the study showed that daily gratitude expresses results in higher reported levels of alertness, energy, determination and optimism. Also, the group expressed less stress, anxiety and depression exercised more and achieved more goals they set. Another study showed that gratitude not only can be deliberately cultivated but can increase levels of well-being and happiness among those who do cultivate it. You see, when we are grateful for even the hardships we experience, our vibration shifts and the doors open.

When you realize their is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
– Lao Tzu.

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