- Gratitude is when we show appreciation for any positives that we note in our lives each day.
- Gratitude is appreciation for things in our lives that elicit lasting feelings of positivity .
- These positives, whether big or small, can leave lasting impressions on our lives.
Can you think of a time in which you felt grateful for something someone did for you?
How did that make you feel?
- Research into gratitude has found that it provides us with many positive emotions, helping to improve our wellbeing.
- Experiencing gratitude can help one to feel a deeper sense of connection with objects, people, and places that we have interacted with.
- Research has also shown that expressions of gratitude towards others can encourage reciprocal behaviours from other people, further deepening our bonds with others.
- Benefit Finding is a concept that focuses around trying to find positives in adverse and negative situations.
- While difficult to appreciate in the moment, every situation carries with it some opportunity for betterment (a.k.a., the silver lining).
E.g., While it was difficult to appreciate it at the time, there was one person in our program that struggled severely with his injury. In hindsight, he said it was a blessing in disguise as it was a result of the injury that he was able to find his direction in life and his true purpose: helping other patients with the same condition, and being the family man and friend he would like to be. He learned to “live in the light” and invest in activities that brought him joy, kind of like when an investor sticks to investments that show good returns. This gave him more presence, and deeper bonds with his children and wife. If someone had told him, when he first had his injury, that this injury would be good for him as it would be the catalyst that saves his marriage, gives him career satisfaction, strengthens his bond with his children, sees him stronger than he’s been in over a decade, and earn him more money, he might not have been so accepting. But what if?…
- Our thoughts are powerful. Changing our mindset, and views towards a situation can significantly improve our overall well-being; and our motivation for engaging in life (including rehabilitative practices) in a way that sees us a better version of ourselves in the end…Upgrade 2.0 🙂
- Research indicates that showing gratitude and identifying benefits in adverse situations will help to raise and maintain positive mood even if the physical sensations of pain do not lower.
- Feeling gratitude helps in the reduction of negative emotional states, Allowing for more control over one’s situation.
- This means that reorienting one’s thoughts to focus on what the situation has allowed you to do rather than what it has taken away, can and will lead to positive emotional states.
- Running Water
- Interacting/socializing with people
- Going for a Walk, or two legs that work (Imagine how grateful Terry Fox was for his one leg!)
- Nice weather
- Favourite Television Shows
- A good book
Consider checking out this Gratitude Journal worksheet.
Ackerman, C. E. (February, 05, 2021). What is Gratitude and Why Is It So Important. PositivePsychology. https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-appreciation/
Affleck, G., Tennen, H., Croog, S., & Levine, S. (1987). Causal attribution, perceived benefits, and morbidity after a heart attack: An 8-year study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 55(1), 29-35. DOI:10.1037/0022-006X.55.1.29
Affleck, G., & Tennen, H. (1996). Construing benefits from adversity: Adaptational significance and dispositional underpinnings. Journal of Personality 64(4), 899-922. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1996.tb00948.x
Alkozei, A., Smith, R., & Killgore, W. D. S. (2018). Gratitude and subjective wellbeing: A proposal of two causal frameworks. Journal of Happiness Studies, 19(5), 1519-1542. DOI:10.1007/s10902-017-9870-1
Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E., (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84(2), 377-389. DOI:10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.527
Last update: February 2021