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  • Are you grateful?
    I read an interesting article on being grateful and thought i'd paste it here:

      show story
    Why Gratitude Isn’t Just for Thanksgiving

    Being thankful is strongly linked with both mental and physical health— and can help to relieve stress, depression and addictions, among other conditions.

    But what is gratitude? Psychologists view it as being able to maintain a world view that appreciates the positive. That may sound like optimism, but unlike simply expecting the good, “appreciation” requires recognizing that happy outcomes are not just the result of your own hard work or moral uprightness, but depend on the efforts of others and, for the more spiritually-minded, on divine providence as well.

    This makes it a fundamentally social emotion: you are grateful either to other people or to some sort of higher power with whom you can communicate. And if you do not behave graciously, ingratitude can cause relational problems, which could deny you the type of social support that is needed to protect against stress and depression.

    Numerous studies now link counting one’s blessings to health. A recent analysis published in Personality and Individual Differences included nearly 1,000 Swiss adults, ranging from teenagers to people in their 80s. It found that physical health was strongly linked with gratitude, basically because it improved psychological health. Better psychological health meant that people were more likely to engage in health-promoting activities and to seek medical help when it was needed. Not surprisingly, this kept people in better mental and physical condition than if they engaged in self-destructive behaviors and avoided necessary medical care.

    Among those who are more spiritual, religious thankfulness, or gratitude toward God, can predict susceptibility to mental illness. In a 2003 study involving 2600 adults, those who were most spiritually thankful had a lower risk of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, bulimia and addictions including alcohol, nicotine and illegal drugs.

    Of course, it’s possible that mentally healthier people feel that they have more to be grateful for, which may explain some of their extra thankfulness. However, because interventions aimed at improving gratitude seem to help with many of health conditions, it’s clear that whatever the reason, being thankful seems to have a strong relationship with health. Studies show, for example, that interventions to increase gratitude improve impaired body image by 76% and can help treat generalized anxiety disorder in similarly dramatic fashion.

    So how does gratitude improve health? On one level, it helps people to sleep better. Since disturbed sleep is linked to almost all mental illnesses, factors that improve sleep tend to alleviate some of these disorders. A 2009 study of 401 people— 40% of whom had clinical sleep disorders— found that the most grateful people had better sleep quality, normalized sleep duration (not too long or too short), were able to fall asleep faster at night and also had less daytime tiredness compared to those who weren’t as thankful.

    The key to reaping gratitude’s benefits seemed to involve what people thought about as they tried to fall asleep: while grateful folks accentuated the positive, the others were consumed by worries and fears. So mentally counting blessings before drifting off can help fight anxiety and depression, not just by replacing depressive and anxious thoughts but by making refreshing sleep easier to attain.

    The most common ways to improve gratitude— making “gratitude lists” or keeping a daily diary focused on the things you are grateful for — build on this positive-focused thinking and are often a critical part of 12-step programs for addictions.

    And they are effective, as a study tracking feelings of thanks and school satisfaction among a group of sixth and seventh graders showed. In the study, 221 children were assigned to write either a daily list of five things they were most grateful for, or of the hassles they experienced, or no list at all. The gratitude group reported greater satisfaction with school three weeks later compared to the other kids, especially those who focused on hassles. That’s a potentially significant benefit since contentment at school is linked to academic performance and dissatisfaction is correlated with antisocial behavior like drinking and drug use. The authors write, “[T]hese findings suggest that gratitude has both immediate and long-term effects on positive psychological functioning.”

    And those effects may be self-sustaining to a certain extent as well. One study found that compared to those who didn’t experience extensive thankfulness, grateful people saw the help they received from others as being more costly to the giver and more valuable to themselves. In addition, they also interpreted deeper expressions of kindness and caring from these acts. These perceptions are likely to make people behave more gratefully towards others — since if you perceive the help you receive as being of little worth and primarily the result of self interest, you are less likely to be appreciative.

    That may explain why gratefulness is a desirable trait in friends and colleagues, and why attempts to become more grateful can be an important part of improving many relationships.

    So while it’s easy to focus on grievances during the hectic holiday season, try introducing a little gratefulness instead. Sure, there may be a bit of selfishness in that, since you may be motivated primarily to improve your own health, but it turns out that gratitude can change your perspective — in a contagious way that may ultimately help more than just you alone.


    Well personally, i won't be making any 'gratitude lists' anytime soon. I grew up poor and have always appreciated what i have, and not necessarily relating to good health either. A few people i know who have a lot of disposable income, and for whom money is rarely an issue, seem to be the unhappiest sorts i know. They never seem to have enough, and always want for more. It's like there's this gaping void somewhere inside themselves, and buying more stuff is a way to plug the hole, which of course, never really works.

    Like most people nowadays in the Western world, i've been through hard times where i've had to heat a can of soup up by placing it delicately on top of a radiator, because i've been too broke to afford a cooker. I've survived minus temperature winters by wrapping up in several layers of clothing and hopping on a stationary exercise bike in order to keep my circulation going, when i've been too skint to buy gas to heat my home. I'm actually grateful for experiencing these things because it not only makes you thankful for what you have, it also increases adaptability, resilience, resourcefulness, and contributes to an overall positive disposition.

    I wince with embarrassment when i witness both children and adults complain about all the things they don't have. It doesn't take Captain Obvious to point out that the list of things you don't have, is going to be far longer that the list of things you do have. One thought that helps me bear in mind the value of gratitude is that there's millions of people who are worse off than myself, and occassionally i remind myself of that fact when i go into the kitchen and run the tap to fill the kettle up, or when i turn on a light when it's gone dark.

    I'm thankful for the things i have, and i appreciate what and who i have in my life, and can't imagine there ever being a time when i wouldn't be grateful.
    snilloc and kath3 liked this post
    yes.my sentiment entirely,i just have to look around me to realize how lucky i am,want more?not really
    I have everything I need in life and that does not include the trappings of wealth.

    Look around the world and mentally challenge yourself “Could I live like this?” The answer for me would certainly be NO.

    This makes me think back to where I started, we lived in a 2 bedroom flat above a shop in the wrong end of Manchester shared with my Nan & Pop. Mum went into labour and along came me THREE HOURS LATER Mum had to get out of bed and my Aunty got in and along came my cousin. Their house had gone and were sharing with us all, how I don’t know but we did.

    Money was short all my childhood but when I had a family of my own I decided that there was no way I was going to spoil my kids and kept them deliberately not short of money because we supplied everything they ever needed but now grown up they are all in work, and have healthy bank balances because they don’t spend, spend, spend they buy what they need and appreciate it. There friends are all in debt but our kids cut there cloth according to what they have.
    Do I want more? Do I hell! Small house, good food, loving wife and kids what more could I want.

    Oh and yes I do the lottery and if I come up with millions I will probably be the biggest hypocrite ever and buy, buy, buy.

    But in the meantime life aint bad and I am very greatful for what I have.
    (This post was last modified: 11-27-2012, 11:15 AM by snilloc.)
    wow, that was a great post snill. Both you and SJ have something that most people don't even know exists - a limit to the possessions you actually want, and that's really refreshing to hear. You know full well what the important things are in life, and money/wealth cannot buy a single one of them. That's the key, i think, to contentment, being grateful and satisfied with what you have. Smile
    it's better to feel miserable in a mercedes than on a bicycle......nah,just joking
    (11-27-2012, 06:28 AM)snilloc Wrote:  Oh and yes I do the lottery and if I come up with millions I will probably be the biggest hypocrite ever and buy, buy, buy.

    You are very wise to know that.

    I once saw something that I thought was extremely wise and very true.

    "Great wealth does not change people. It merely unmaks them."

    How's about that?
    (02-04-2013, 06:58 AM)AliShibaz Wrote:  
    (11-27-2012, 06:28 AM)snilloc Wrote:  Oh and yes I do the lottery and if I come up with millions I will probably be the biggest hypocrite ever and buy, buy, buy.

    You are very wise to know that.

    I once saw something that I thought was extremely wise and very true.

    "Great wealth does not change people. It merely unmaks them."

    How's about that?

    So now you know I'm not snilloc I am Zoro Big Grin
    What an excellent thread Smile So glad I stumbled across it.
    Both my husband and myself are thankful givers ... we give thanks daily for our many blessings, and take nothing for granted because in the blink of an eye all can be gone .... a loved one, pets, home, and possessions.
    We go to bed thanking for as much as we can think of, not wanting to take anything for granted.
    Today we were over visiting an older couple (in their 80's) they have a little greens garden growing from an old freezer to make harvesting easier on his back. He just stands to weed and gather. They had two mustard plants growing with maybe a dozen leaves on each plant ... hardly seemed worth the time and energy.
    Tonight we had rice with steamed mustard greens because they shared with us.
    So tonight as I lay down to sleep they will be on my thankful list.

    You Give To The World When You Give Your Best To Somebody Else Hug
    Spud17 liked this post
    I am thankful for a shitty abused childhood.
    I am thankful for being an abusive parent.
    I am thankful for being belittled and berated by my mother.
    I am thankful for being beat to the point of welts to go back to my abuser.
    I am thankful for all my years of alcohol and drug abuse.
    I am thankful for abusive relationships.
    I am thankful for getting a record in Manhattan Criminal Court.
    I am thankful for trying to take my own life on numerous occasions.
    I am thankful that a gun and knives were pulled on me.
    I am thankful for being a latchkey kid.
    I am thankful for being chased with a hammer.
    I am thankful for being investigated for fraud.
    I am thankful for being raped.
    I am thankful for being robbed.
    I am thankful for the school of hard knocks.
    I am thankful for learning how to steal food in 2nd grade.
    I am thankful for having to furnish my first apartment with garbage.
    I am thankful for having someone break my finger.
    I am thankful for my old junkie friends.
    I am thankful for my old pusher friends.
    I am thankful for having rats, mice, water bugs, and cockroaches.

    YES I AM THANKFUL FOR ALL THE SHIT THAT MADE ME WHO I AM TODAY! YOU CAN’T BEAT THAT WITH A STICK. Oh yeah. I am real thankful. I swear that I am really thankful because had I not come through this course, I may not be me as me now stands in more ways than one.
    (This post was last modified: 04-24-2013, 02:33 PM by Arachne.)

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    Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought. -Graham Greene
    System Folder liked this post
    I am grateful that Arachne is here, and I wish that I could give her a big hug. Hug

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