On yesterday’s flight from LHR to SEA I read an interesting and timely article in the WSJ about giving thanks. The premise is, backed by research, that those who frequently feel grateful earn more, sleep better, exercise regularly and are less likely to be depressed.
Melinda Beck writes that “Maintaining an attitude if gratitude can improve psychological, emotional and physical well being, a growing body of research suggests.”
Without doubt there is a bit of cause and effect. The happier you are the more grateful you tend to be but you can also directly impact how you feel with an approach based on outwardly showing your gratitude.
The article suggests that about 50% of the grateful temperament is genetic (which explains those people who seem to go through life with a permanently sour disposition) but the rest comes from experience – so no lost causes !
Beck focuses on how gratitude can be encouraged in children but some of the exercises such as “count blessings, not sheep” at night and “pausing mindfully” during the day.
As I celebrate Thanksgiving in Seattle I know I’ve got plenty to be grateful about !