Shocked, surprised? Recently, while conducting research for our upcoming JOY Day, we found out just how much gratitude is related to feelings of JOY. Could it be that simple? If we are grateful it will automatically lead to JOY…well, not so fast.
Read on for the details.
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There is a direct link between happiness and gratitude. Expressing gratitude brings about happiness for the one giving thanks. The more someone is thankful or feels gratitude, the less there is time or room for negative thoughts.
The Science in “Being Thankful”
In the book “The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life you want,” Sonja Lyubomirsky made an interesting find. She states that the more you practice and express gratitude the more self-worth and self-esteem you feel. It doesn’t matter if it’s thinking about what others do for you, or what you have done (for yourself or others), it adds to your confidence and how effective you are at this thing called life.
Good can come from bad. People that have experienced some of the most traumatizing experiences or situations, can find a positive moment to be thankful for. These positive effects include adjusting, processing, and moving on from the trauma.
Gratitude can also help with building empathy for others, and social bonds whether pre-existing or new. It helps us to be less negative overall.
There are several proven key health benefits of showing appreciation to others.
Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
People who regularly express gratitude and appreciation are seen as more successful by their coworkers. A national survey commissioned by the John Templeton Foundation found that 93 percent of those polled agreed that grateful bosses were more likely to be successful. And only 18 percent thought that grateful bosses would be seen as “weak.”
How to Practice Gratitude:
The best way to make gratitude a habit is not to wait for special moments. Journaling is an excellent way to capture gratitude on paper and remember those special moments. Gratitude journaling every day is also correlated with an increase in happiness.
But if you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, there’s an easy way to begin on your road to being grateful. Just pay attention. Start identifying things you might take for granted. Then, take a moment to be thankful for them.
Recently while riding my motorcycle across the countryside, I noticed several beautiful rows of bright yellow and pink flowers. It was so picturesque, it actually took my breath away.
In this moment, I paused and took a mental screenshot of the scene to embed in my brain. I wanted the moment to last, so I studied and really captured in my mind the essence of the beautiful live picture in front of me. Then, I combined that feeling with one of deep gratitude into my bones.
This is the key to everything; you actually have to feel grateful. Capturing that feeling is what changes the chemistry in your body and your brain that then leads to more JOYful thoughts. It also leads to greater positive feelings. If you really think about it, it’s very hard to feel grateful along with any negative emotion at the same time.
Nightly Gratitude Recap
Another daily practice I like to engage in is thinking about the things I am grateful for nightly before bed. It’s so easy to just rush through our days and to focus on everything that’s going wrong.
But, what if you stopped and just thought about the many blessings from the day and expressed gratitude for them? This simple step has actually changed my life. Another side benefit is that I go to bed happy and grateful and therefore sleep better. Try it and let me know how you like it.
I’m so committed to spreading JOY that my company, JOYVIAL, will celebrate its third annual JOY DAY on Friday, October 1, 2021. This will be a day to show others they are seen, heard, valued and appreciated. We have several prominent guests at a LIVE virtual event planned.
Want to have more JOY in your life? If so, we are here to help. Our JOYVIAL team of professional, on-demand health coaches help you find the time in your life to do the things that bring you JOY.
We keep you energized every step of the way as you integrate new habits and start living a life you love. Click the 'Contact' button in the top right corner or simply send us an email to email@example.com to schedule your free discovery session.