Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Gratitude.. BS or truly revolutionary?

Gratitude (thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.) 

Have you heard of it before? It seems like all of a sudden it is everywhere.  Party due to the book 'The Secret, by Rhona Byrne' becoming so popular (if you haven't read it, check it out).

I have practiced it for quite a few years now.  However, I have to admit in the first few years I didn't truly understand it and I wasn't truly grateful for a lot of the stuff I was trying to force myself to believe I was grateful for.  When I look back now I realise it wasn't working for me, how can you be grateful for a job you hate? Or for a relationship you are in which is making you unhappy? No matter how hard you try to be thankful for these situations in your heart, you are not.  Ever have that feeling when you say 'I really do not like my job' and someone reply's 'you should be grateful you have one, many people don't' (The world should in my opinion is horrid but thats another story)... Do you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach? You feel guilt for not being grateful for this job which you hate.  This creates all sorts of negative feelings toward yourself and sometimes others.  So how can this gratutude work if that is the case?

Now I am in a much happier place, life is very good! So I am truly thankful for many of the blessings I have. I now understand gratitude, how and why it works, This is what I am going to share with you today because I know it can help many of you to lead happier, more fulfilled lives.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude has two components, it's an affirmation of the goodness in the world. Of positivity and benefits we have received.  Not ignoring all the bad but seeing an overall picture that some things are good (this is the part I didn't understand)

The second part is realising where your goodness comes from. Figuring out what you love and like, who and what makes you happy.

The Results speak for themselves

A study done by the university of California were 1000 participants simply wrote in a gratitude journey consistently for just 3 weeks showed astounding results...

Stronger immune systems,lower blood pressure, more joy and pleasure, more forgiving, more outgoing, feeling less lonely and isolated.

According to the university of California gratitude has 5 key benefits...

1. Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present. It magnifies your positive emotions. 
Research on emotion shows that positive emotions wear off quickly. Our emotional systems like newness. They like novelty. They like change. We adapt to positive life circumstances so that before too long, the new car, the new spouse, the new house—they don’t feel so new and exciting anymore. 
But gratitude makes us appreciate the value of something, and when we appreciate the value of something, we extract more benefits from it; we’re less likely to take it for granted. 
2. Gratitude blocks toxic, negative emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret—emotions that can destroy our happiness. 
You cannot feel envious and grateful at the same time. If you’re grateful, you can’t resent someone for having something that you don’t.
There’s even recent evidence, including a 2008 study by psychologist Alex Wood in the Journal of Research in Personality, showing that gratitude can reduce the frequency and duration of episodes of depression. 
Research has also suggested people who have high levels of gratitude have low levels of resentment and envy.

3. Grateful people are more stress resistant
There’s a number of studies showing that in the face of serious trauma, adversity, and suffering, if people have a grateful disposition, they’ll recover more quickly.
4. Grateful people have a higher sense of self-worth
When you’re grateful, you feel that the world is plotting to do you good. Often gratutude is aimed towards a particular person or kind act that person has done for you... the sense that someone else is looking out for you.  You notice relationships, past and present, of people who are responsible for helping you get to where you are right now.

So is gratitude just hocus pocus or is it truly something magical that practicing will make you happier?

Why not try it! For 3 weeks every morning write down or say out loud 5 things or people you are grateful for.

What have you got to loose?
Do you already practice gratitude? How have you found it has helped you?

Ashly xxx


I love reading all your comments :-) contact me on twitter @AshlyLondon I would love to chat with you xxx