Why Gratitude Is Good

Author:
Robert Emmons
Date:
February 21, 2024
Type:

Robert Emmons discusses the benefits of cultivating gratitude. The effect of this practice improves physical and mental health. Emmons describes gratitude as a "relationship-strengthening emotion because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people." He offers suggestions for engaging with the practice by keeping a journal, even for a short time, to actively note things to be grateful for each day.

Emmons defines gratitude as having two parts:

"First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life. 

The second part of gratitude is figuring out where that goodness comes from. We recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. It didn’t stem from anything we necessarily did ourselves in which we might take pride. We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but I think true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others: We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives."

https://greatergood.berkeley.ehttps://engageworkfaith.org.au/why-gratitude-is-good/du/article/item/why_gratitude_is_good

Image: Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash

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