The Importance of Gratitude

By on Jan 21, 2014 in Emotional Quotient, Gratitude | 0 comments

  Gratitude is a powerful emotion that we feel and implement into our day-to-day life. Gratitude is defined as feeling the quality of being thankful for something, or showing appreciation to those who treat us well and expose us to acts of kindness. Whilst most of us will subconsciously show signs of gratitude in our day to day life, in this article we are going to look at the importance of gratitude, and how our quality of life can be improved by further understanding our knowledge of gratitude and the way that we use it. A study was recently conducted in which two psychologists studied gratitude, and the effect that it had on our well-being. Michael McCollough and Robert Emmons selected several hundred participants for the study. The participants were off mixed sex, race, backgrounds and social groups as to make the study as impartial and accurate to the entire United States population as possible. Split into three groups, the participants were asked to keep a daily diary. The first group of people were instructed to document their day without being told to focus on good or bad things. The second group of people were asked to document unpleasant experiences only, whilst the third group only wrote down a list of things that they felt grateful for each day. After they had written in their diaries for a set amount of time, the results were collected and studied by the psychologists and their teams. The results showed that completing simple daily gratitude exercises such as keeping a diary helped all participants to experience higher levels of enthusiasm, alertness, optimism, determination and energy. More interestingly, members of the group who were asked to write down their feelings of gratefulness were shown to experience less depression and stress when compared to the other two groups. When Dr. Emmons was asked to explain the findings, he stated that through other recent studies he has been able to conclude that practicing gratitude can boost your happiness levels by around 25%. This is a significant increase, because many illnesses and health problems are caused by stress and depression – the ability to boost happiness levels by 25% should not only sound appealing in its...

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