The Neuroscience of Gratitude

Every year instead of a new years resolution, I focus on improving an area of my life. This year my goal was to be more grateful. I was truly inspired to do this after reading the book The Gratitude Effect by John Demartini.  I love love love how he reframes life. And it’s right in line with the buddhist tenant that the people in our life are a mirror of ourselves. In short it’s like this…if someone upsets us, ask yourself how do I do the same to others. Or if we admire someone, we are actually admiring an aspect of ourselves. It’s about dropping the victim mentality and bringing in GRATITUDE for every situation.

“Positive Vibes aren’t just for hippies” ~Ocean Robbins

I love science AND research! I found an article by Ocean Robbins on the science of gratitude. The quotes below are from his article.

“Participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25 percent happier than the hassled group. They reported fewer health complaints, and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.” (research by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D.)

“Another study on gratitude was conducted with adults having congenital and adult-onset neuromuscular disorders (NMDs), with the majority having post-polio syndrome (PPS). Compared to those who were not jotting down their blessings nightly, participants in the gratitude group reported more hours of sleep each night, and feeling more refreshed upon awakening. The gratitude group also reported more satisfaction with their lives as a whole, felt more optimism about the upcoming week, and felt considerably more connected with others than did participants in the control group.”

“Philip Watkins, a clinical psychologist at Eastern Washington University, found that clinically depressed individuals showed significantly lower gratitude (nearly 50 percent less) than non-depressed controls.”

In my experience, the patients with the best outlook on life are the ones more likely to find how to minimize whatever issue they are dealing with.

So I’ve been working on this practice for the past few months. If I dedicate my first minutes of the day to a 10 min meditation on gratitude, I actually have the energy to do a quick workout before my day starts! It’s better to start somewhere, even if it’s 5-10 min here or there.

Read it for yourself!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ocean-robbins/having-gratitude-_b_1073105.html

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