As you already know, gratitude is a vital practice in building a happy life. When we cultivate gratitude, we improve our mood, our outlook, and even our physical and mental health.
Gratitude is an emotion similar to appreciation, and positive psychology research has found neurological reasons why so many people can benefit from this general practice of expressing thanks for our lives, even in times of challenge and change.
But sometimes it’s tough to keep an attitude of gratitude, especially if we’re depending only on our internal well of grateful feelings. When you feel like your well is running dry, it can be easy to take a more cynical view of the world around you.
Luckily, we don’t have to depend solely on our internal resources to stay grateful; research from 2017 shows that cultivating gratitude in response to the kind and considerate acts of others has a bigger impact than focusing only on “general” gratitude. Researchers from the University of Nottingham conducted a meta-analysis to determine when, where, and how gratitude impacts prosocial behavior, and they found that benefit-triggered gratitude (gratitude that arises in response to someone else’s kindness) is generally more impactful than general gratitude towards life.
Of course, it’s still beneficial to be grateful in general, but this research indicates that it might benefit us to pay more attention to the kind acts of our loved ones than to sit in silent contemplation of life’s gifts.
“At times, our light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.” – Albert Schweitzer
Gratitude Action Step
This week, make it a point to notice at least one act of kindness towards you each day. When you notice the kind act, pause and savor the gratitude that arises in response to it, then share that gratitude. As the week goes on, you’ll find that you notice more and more kind acts!
In summary, gratitude is a positive emotion felt after being the beneficiary of some sort of gift. LotusRain offers the option to purchase gift certficates, so perhaps you could put a spark n someone’s heart by setting them up with an appointment for self care! Often times, giving is better than receiving and being the giver gratitude is directred towards you!
Curated Content: MUIH.edu