What's So Great About Being Grateful?
Mar 3, 2017 | Jessica Rochon, Student Triage Navigator
Gratitude. What is it? Why are people talking about it? How can it help me? What’s so ‘great’ about being grateful? ‘Psychology Today’ suggests that expressing gratitude makes us happier, more optimistic, empathetic, and makes us feel energized. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s simple, free, and requires very little time.
Commitment; however, that’s another thing. Our bodies are lazy and will take the easy way out. If we are pessimistic by nature, it will be easy for us to focus on the negatives in life. Practicing gratitude assists in changing those pathways to see the positive in situations, however, it has to be done frequently (that’s why it’s called practice!).
Psychology Professor, Robert Emmons advises that ‘gratitude reduces stress, big and small’. He continues on to suggest that getting rid of negative thoughts will assist in building emotional resilience; in turn, increasing our ability to adapt to our ever changing circumstances. Life isn’t static. It is dynamic and exciting! Sometimes that excitement can be transferred to feelings of anxiety and emotional turmoil. Mounting responsibilities in both our personal and professional lives can cause a sense of being overwhelmed and we can find it difficult to enjoy what ‘free’ time we do have.
Positive Psychology is the scientific study of what makes life worth living and practicing gratitude is a form of Positive Psychology. Most importantly, Positive Psychology techniques can be learned. Professor Martin E.P Seligman, from the Positive Psychology Centre, and founder of the Positive Neuroscience Project said ‘"Research has shown that positive emotions and interventions can bolster health, achievement, and resilience, and can buffer against depression and anxiety,". The same article continues ‘Research shows that positive emotions and flexible thinking are hallmarks of resilience, and can be developed through training and therapy’. Being resilient allows us to quickly recover from life’s setbacks and feelings of being disappointed. People who are resilient are thought to have characteristics such as, a positive view of the future, goal orientated, driven, empathetic, and compassionate and they don’t fret over things that are out of their control.
Whether it’s fear about what the future holds after graduation or coping with rejection and disappointment in your future careers, even struggling with new relationships with your peers; you have the ability to overcome these natural struggles with the right ‘gr-attitude’. Try it!!! #30daysofGratitude
Jessica Rochon, RPN
Student Triage Navigator
Student Success Services
Positive Neuroscience Project: http://www.posneuroscience.org/news.html#awardees