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But how much effort do you think is involved in doubling your income? Motivational speakers will tell you that the money is worth the sacrifices. Applying that same level of energy towards strengthening one’s relationships, cultivating compassion and gratitude, and so on much more reliably creates positive, transformative change.
Said differently, material success is not a very important factor in the happiness of highly grateful people.
In which world do you think you would have more self-esteem? The key is what’s on our minds as we’re trying to fall asleep.
If it’s worries about the kids, or anxiety about work, the level of stress in our body will increase, reducing sleep quality, keeping us awake, and cutting our sleep short.
Gratitude can’t cure cancer (neither can positive-thinking), but it can strengthen your physiological functioning. The details are complicated, but the overall picture is not – if you want to improve your health, improve your mind. better coping & management of terminal conditions like cancer and HIV, etc…) apply to gratitude as well.
In fact, some recent science shows just that – those who engage in gratitude practices have been shown to feel less pain, go to the doctor less often, have lower blood pressure, and be less likely to develop a mental disorder. think of it as a reflection of my personality, it comes out naturally 🙂 The research for this post took an extremely long time (~25-30 hours), but because I’m such a nerd, that was fun and just replaced my usual reading time.
For example, spiritual individuals are more likely to feel a strong spiritual or emotional connection with others, and to believe in inter-connectedness.
Both are prerequisites for feeling gratitude – someone who feels weak connections with others, and who believes in the illusion of self-sufficiency is unlikely to feel gratitude. I’m a lot better now that I’ve brought gratitude into my life, but I still spend way too much time thinking about myself, and too little thinking about others.
Those who have been disabled have a remarkable ability to rebound – initially they may feel terrible, but after months or years they are on average just as happy as everyone else.
If we perceive our current life to have more good, we will also believe our future life to have more good.
Optimism is correlated with gratitude because those with an optimistic disposition are biologically more likely to focus on the good (gratitude) than on the bad (personal disappointment, anxiety, etc…). The problem with materialism is that it makes people feel less competent, reduces feelings of relatedness and gratitude, reduces their ability to appreciate and enjoy the good in life, generates negative emotions, and makes them more self-centered.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal. 65% of Americans didn’t receive recognition in the workplace last year. Sign up for The Gratitude Hack, the course I created with the sole focus of helping you live a happier, more grateful life. Want to know the details or explore the science that backs up these claims? Optimism in turn makes us happier, improves our health, and has been shown to increase lifespan by as much as a few years.
Click below to go to the specific category or benefit that interests you, or just continue scrolling. The act of gratitude is the act of focusing on the good in life.
The pursuit of wealth and power has been shown in dozens of studies to be a highly inefficient method of increasing well-being and happiness.