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Gratitude’s Link with Love & Happiness

Morning sunriseA glass half full – grateful people have a particular view of the world and themselves. They choose to notice the positive things in the world and their own lives and have an appreciation for things that other people may take for granted. In a growing body of research, the importance of gratitude suggests that it is a cornerstone of positive psychology.

Love:  Research from Psychologists Dr. Robert Emmons from UC Davis and Dr. Michael McCullough from the University of Miami go so far as to say that not only does gratitude promote feelings of happiness and love but that it is also a form of love itself. Open communication is necessary for healthy relationships. People who focus on the positive qualities of their partners experience more feelings of closeness and are often more aware of their partner’s needs and wishes, resulting in healthier, happier, more intimate relationships.

In 2010, Dr. Sara Algoe of UC Berkley sampled 67 heterosexual couples who had been together for at least 3 months. The partners wrote in a diary every night for 2 weeks and recorded both their own and their partner’s thoughtful actions, their feelings toward the actions and how they felt about the relationship that day. This research found that gratitude reminds romantic partners of the quality of the relationship, the quality of the individual’s partner and enhanced feelings of closeness.

Other studies, like one by Kubacka, Finkenauer, Rusbult and Keijsers in 2011 showed that gratitude begets gratitude. Kind gestures toward a spouse led to feelings of gratitude (of course!) and that gratitude motivated the other spouse to reciprocate with kind gestures. None of that should be too surprising but the ultimate result was a positive cycle of gratitude and caring behavior that continued to increase.

5 Proven Health Benefits of Gratitude:

  • Improved sleep
  • Can strengthen your physiological well-being
  • Longevity
  • Increased Energy Levels
  • Increased likelihood of physical activity

Life Satisfaction:

Ever wonder how some people continue to stay genuinely happy, even though they get hit with hardship after hardship and other people seem miserable even though they have everything anyone could ever want. Studies show it may come down to gratitude. “A key determining factor of well-being is the ability to notice, appreciate and savor the elements of one’s life”, say Dr. Emmons and Dr. McCullough. Three studies conducted by the pair looked into whether focusing on negative or neutral life events versus focusing on positive ones can lead to improved psychological and physical function. All three studies concluded that “an effective way to produce reliably higher

Is practicing gratitude a cure-all? Of course not! But research demonstrates its many benefits with no drawbacks. It is a powerful tool that can be utilized to live a good, meaningful life.
One thing to consider is being gracious with yourself. Show some gratitude to YOU, and treat yourself to an acupuncture treatment. Give us a call today!

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