In the United States during the week of Thanksgiving people’s thoughts turn to gratitude and thanksgiving. Gratitude, the state or feeling of being thankful, is an almost universal concept among world cultures.
In fact, nearly all of the world’s spiritual traditions emphasize the importance of giving thanks to benefactors, supernatural or otherwise. (Emmons and Crumpler, 2000)
Researchers have studied gratitude to see if it positively impacts the quality of life of people and their ability to cope. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology conducted a study about how gratitude helps people cope with life.
This study recognizes that people who experience gratitude have a better sense of well-being. The purpose of the study was to try to find out if this sense of well-being helps people create coping strategies for their life.
Research has found that regardless of personality type, gratitude increased life satisfaction, vitality and happiness, while people who do not have gratitude seem to experience greater depression and envy.
It is amazing that one emotion can have such a big impact on people’s ability to cope and create strategies. During the Thanksgiving holiday season, people take time to acknowledge and feel the gratitude they have for any and all parts of life.
If you can take time out of your schedule during this week to have gratitude, then consider taking time out each week for the rest of the year to cultivate the feeling of gratitude in your life. If you can do this through the end of the year you will have created a new habit going into the new year that can help you will any of your health and wellness goals for 2012.
The key to good health always starts with consistent habits. Consider this as a challenge that will start your 2012 off right.
Cultivate gratitude weekly. Cultivate it daily and your life and your health will improve!
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