The practice of ‘gratitude’ or ‘thankfulness’ promises to combat depression, increasing wellbeing and happiness, while opening our eyes to all the positive factors that are already around us.
Here’s everything you need to know…
What is gratitude therapy?To put it simply: gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what you have – as opposed to a consumer-driven emphasis on what you want.
The therapy is the act of thoughtfully reflecting on the aspects of life that bring great joy, causing feelings of gratefulness, rather than the insatiable longing of what’s just out of reach. By practicing awareness of the positive things in life, we fight off the brain’s natural tendency to scan for and spot the negatives.
The practice is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness – and especially expression of it to others – is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.
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What are the benefits?Research in positive psychology indicates that those who practice gratitude have lower self-reported levels of depression and stress, and they’re more satisfied with their social relationships. Studies also show that daily gratitude can improve sleep, increases energy levels and can decrease blood pressure.