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.