An attitude of gratitude: Joshua Coleman

Researchers have found that  cultivating  gratitude increases your enjoyment of life and innoculates you to prior hurts and future injuries. Why should the practice of gratitude have such a powerful effect?

  • Gratitude keeps you in touch with what is right about you and your life. It invokes feelings of well-being  and relationship.
  • Gratitude is  present-centered activity. It helps you to focus on the here-and-now as opposed to event that are out of your control.
  • Gratitude increases your feelings of resourcefulness because you focus on what you have instead of what you haven’t.
  • Gratitude can increase your feelings of pride, which are crucial in combating feelings of shame.
  • Gratitude can increase your energy since you’re forced to attend to the joy of the moment instead of  draining yourself with regret about the past or with worry about the future.
  • Gratitude is at the core of almost all spiritual practices. Having a spiritual life has been shown to increase health, happiness, and longevity.

Loyola University  researchers Fred Bryant and Joseph Veroff have developed a technique to work on gratitude that they call savoring. Savoring is taking a positive experience and wrestling every drop of goodness that you can from it. This is counterintuitive to most of us raised in a materialistic culuture that promises that something better is just over the horizon., whoops, not that horizon, must be over the next… Savoring is useful to a happy life because it promotes your capitalizing  on small, positive achievements and experiences that have occured  in the past or are occurring  in the present.

Sharing  with others allows you to put your experiences into  a relational  context. When others take joy or pleasure in our  positive experiences those experiences are made more real to us.