Definition of word grateful in dictionary
Today marks the end of the year, and also an end of a decade. As it happens, it is usually a time of reflection, setting new goals and agendas, as well as spending time with our family, and friends. The spirit of the holiday season pushes us to recognize and realize everything we may feel grateful for. In my recent article, I wrote that gratitude scientifically changes your brain and can be used to create a better life. In this article, I’d like to focus on some scientifically backed ways you can use to cultivate gratitude so as to take it with you through the holiday season and into the new year, with the goal of creating a better life.
Spending Time With Grateful People – Gratitude Is Infectious
Recent research on gratitude has found that gratitude is infectious, meaning that in a group setting it has an affect on the whole group. Thus, spending time with people who are grateful may inspire us to forge new bonds. Researchers previously thought that gratitude only played a significant role in the bonding of the two people who were involved in an exchange, but recent research indicates people who are witnessing the act are also affected. Those who witness an act of gratitude want to interact with those who are receiving gratitude, because it is a social clue that this person has supportive qualities and may make a good partner. On the other hand, people are also motivated to be friends with those who are expressing gratitude to someone else. This is due to the outward focus of gratitude, from the self to another person, which indicates to others that that the individual expressing gratitude is able to step outside of themselves and focus on the needs of others, which again indicates that this person may be a good partner. Thus, by expressing gratitude in a group setting, the whole group dynamic changes, which allows us to forge stronger group bonds and make new friends, which in itself is something to be grateful for. So in the new year, make it a resolution to spend more time with people who are grateful.
Express Gratitude Daily
Many times we may hear of highly efficient people who have a morning routine, and in this morning routine they take some time to be grateful for the things they have. Being thankful for something is not just a nice gesture, rather there is scientific evidence for its powerful effect. Researchers have illustrated that practicing gratitude has a lasting affect on the brain. The reason for this is that by practicing gratitude we are changing the perception of our world, from one that may be negative to one that is focused on the positive. When researchers tried to understand why practicing gratitude was effective, they found it was not due to the abundance of great things in our lives, rather it was due to the removal of negative thoughts and feelings, rather than counting an abundance of blessings we may have. So the key would be to stay to cut out negative words, emotions, and thoughts, and to focus on the positive. Some easy ways to practice gratitude daily would be to write a list of things you are thankful for, another would be to keep a gratitude journal, and another would be to express it to people in your life.
I hope this next year of your life will be filled with gratitude and positive experiences!