Recent Scientific Research Reveals: Grateful People are Happier and Healthier

Recent Scientific Research Reveals: Grateful People are Happier and Healthier

Feeling grateful makes you healthier and happier.

It’s a scientifically proven fact.

The Huffington Post article “The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes us Healthier” by Ocean Robbins explains the following:

If you are able to focus on any authentic reason to feel grateful (a healthy child, a nice husband, food on your table, a regular paycheck) rather than on the 1001 things that might be going wrong in your life and in the world, then recent research proves that your determination to see the cup half full will likely bring you many benefits in terms of your health, your emotional state, and your marriage.

In research conducted by scientist Robert A. Emmons at UC Davis, a group of chronically ill adults were instructed to start keep a gratitude journal, every night writing down a list of things for which they were grateful. In contrast with chronically ill members of the control group who did not keep a gratitude journal, the experiment’s participants felt happier about their lives in general, more optimistic about the future, and more connected with others.

And, maybe most telling about the way gratitude changes us, the impact of the gratitude journals on participants was clearly noticeable to family members. Spouses of the gratitude-journal group noticed that their husbands and wives were markedly happier since they had started shifting their focus to what’s going right rather than to what’s going wrong.

Several scientific studies have shown that depression is inversely related to gratitude, meaning the more grateful you are the less likely you are to be depressed. Clinical psychologist Professor Philip Watkins discovered that clinically depressed people are FIFTY PERCENT less grateful than people who are not depressed.

So, how can you be more grateful?
Here’s a few ideas:
1) Keep a daily gratitude journal
2) Before davening, thank Hashem for 10 positive things in your life.
3) Read Garden of Gratitude by Rabbi Shalom Arush to learn how to feel grateful at challenging times
4) Make sure to tell your spouse/child/friend something that you appreciate them every single day.
5) When you’re brushing your teeth, look in the mirror and think of something that you’ve done well recently or something that you like about yourself.

But, the truth is JewishMOMS, these recent research findings don’t really teach us anything we Jews didn’t know a long time ago.

They are just further proof of the old Jewish saying, “Tracht Gut V’Tzein Gut”…

Think good, JewishMOM, and it will be good. IY”H.

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user Lalit Shahane

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My Shabbos with the Amish (17-Minute Mommy Peptalk)
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The Surprise Waiting for Me at Home as told by Sivan Rahav Meir

2 comments

  1. I think something else we can take out of this is the wonderful lesson of gratitude that we can impart on our children.
    When I was in high school (secular, public), a friend and I created the “Daymaker” concept. Every night before bed we would write down on an index card something that made our day, and then we had beautifully decorated index card boxes filled with happy moments to look back at on those not so good days.
    I always said that my kids growing up would do daymakers with me every night before bed.
    I haven’t started this yet, since my oldest is almost 2 and not so verbal, but I’m excited to use this same concept with a focus on Hashem. I want to do a “Thank you Hashem” box and every night I will sit down with my kids before bed to write down something from the day for which they want to thank Hashem.

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