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Gratitude: Have You Heard It’s Good For You?

Gratitude thank you Woman-Holding-HeartGratitude: Being thankful, appreciative for the good things in your life, for people who have helped you, for fortunate events that have occurred. By now, most of us have heard from various sources that it’s good for our mental health. Now the research evidence is starting to pile up.

The average person is vaguely aware of a few key, recurring things in their lives they are grateful for. However, if we only think about those, we habituate to them; they stop being interesting. By contrast, fresh doses of perceptive gratitude on a daily basis function like a vaccine against impulsiveness and enhance self-control and future-orientedness.

A new study shows that being grateful helps increase self-control and reduce impulsive behaviors, particularly when it comes to financial decisions. People who cultivate an appreciative attitude towards everyday events are more patient; they are better able to delay gratification.

It can be easier than you think to find things to be grateful about; it just take a bit of extra focus. For example: “I’m grateful that when I left a bag on the train this morning, a stranger ran after me and handed it back to me.”

The new study suggests that the more you regularly experience gratitude, the more self-control you have in various areas of your life. It is an important finding because we tend to think of self-control as being linked to cognitive processes. The possibility that gratitude can help us increase self-control and reduce impulsiveness is very appealing.

Gratitude: Have you heard it’s good for you? Appreciation, happiness, positive psychology, anti-depression