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Cultivating Gratitude

Colby Hawkins

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of 11-12-13

The Benefits of Gratitude
Why Gratitude?
“Gratitude enriches human life. It elevates, energizes, inspires and transforms. People are moved, opened and humbled through expressions of gratitude.”

It is a “chosen attitude.” People must give up a “victim mentality” and overcome a sense of entitlement and deservedness.

Emmons & McCullough, 2003.
Implementation of Gratitude
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all the others.” - Cicero
The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Cultivating gratitude helps us think more positively and reduces stress.
Expressing gratitude may be especially beneficial to those going through trying times, and can also benefit their loved ones and close friends.
Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, and optimism and lower levels of depression and stress.

In a large scale survey of U.S. adults, gratitude was among the most robust predictors of life satisfaction in the sample (Peterson et al, 2007).
Grateful people have the capacity to be more empathetic- a trait that may help determine one's success in social situations.
Grateful people are more likely to acknowledge a belief in the interconnectedness of all life and a commitment to and responsibility to others.
(McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002).
Recent Studies
The difference between perceiving a situation as a threat or as an opportunity for growth may be influenced by our ability to be grateful on a fundamental level.
Emmons & McCullough conducted 3 studies measuring the effects of gratitude

Study 1: Gratitude condition participants practiced gratitude 1x per week for 10 weeks
participants felt better about lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about their expectations for the upcoming week. Reported fewer physical complaints, and reported spending significantly more time exercising.
Study 2: Participants practiced gratitude 1x a day for 2 weeks
participants showed higher levels of positive affect and more likely to help someone with a personal problem or offer emotional support
Study 3: Participants practiced gratitude 1x a day for 21 days
participants showed increase in subjective life appraisals, increase in positive affect and decrease in negative affect. improved amount and quality of sleep
-->In a study conducted by Carson, both a gratitude workshop and a month of gratitude diary keeping were implemented. A pre and post test questionnaire showed that participants were significantly thankful for more things in their lives, had improved life satisfaction, greater environmental mastery, and higher social feelings.
Theoretical Basis
Gratitude leads to increases in positive affect, optimism, and vitality, all of which correspond with lower levels of stress.
Expressing gratitude has been shown to increase social support and connectivity.
What is gratitude?
Our challenge: As we head into this Thanksgiving season I challenge you and I alike to
express gratitude each day
. Whether this is done in the form of a thank you card, phone call, text, email, or other method the results will be the same- increased happiness and well-being for you AND for those on the receiving end of your thoughtfulness.
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