Gratitude Psychology: The Benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude has a greater impact on our lives than we think. In this article we will look at what positive psychology has to say about the habit of giving thanks. Related article: “Gratitude has a greater impact on our lives than we think. Let’s see in this article what positive psychology says about the habit of giving thanks.Every year, on different dates, the United States and Canada celebrate Thanksgiving, originally called Thanksgiving.

Americans celebrate it on the last Thursday in November, on Canadian soil, the second Monday in October. Its Origin In Plymouth, in 1621, a group of pilgrims shared their autumn harvest with the Vampanok Indians, thanks to whom they were taught farming and hunting techniques.

The celebration of reconciliation and gratitude between pilgrims and Native Americans lasted three days.Many years later, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared that distant event a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. However, it was not until 1941 that it was officially established by the North American Congress under President Franklin Roosevelt.

To this day, this tradition includes meeting at the table as a family and having a turkey for dinner, fried or baked, which is the main dish; In addition, salads, breads and cakes work well with it. That night, families enjoy a special moment where each member shares their blessings and gives thanks for it.

From an ethical and philosophical point of view, gratitude is defined as a moral virtue that refers to good behavior (McCallock, Gilbotrick, Emmons and Larson, 2001); According to the Royal Spanish Academy, this is a sense of value that leads us to reconsider the benefits we have been given or wanted to do. However, gratitude develops in us more than wanting to reconsider a good deed.

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of all that provides psychological well-being, beginning research in the late 1990s on the effects of gratitude, by Robert Emmons of the University of California and Michael McCullough of the University of Miami. This study involves creating three groups that are approximately assigned with the indication of having a weekly diary. The first group should write in their journal the things they are thankful for; Second, he would write everything that made them angry; The third group will focus on neutral events. Ten weeks later, those who wrote only the approvals that the results revealed were in better health than the rest of the participants.

Northrup (2012) says that when we look at something with gratitude, no matter how small, we maintain that gratitude for 15 to 20 seconds, as our body undergoes various subtle and beneficial physiological changes, for example: lowering stress levels and strengthening the immune system; Better blood flow;

The heartbeat synchronizes and breathing deepens, thus increasing the amount of oxygen in the tissues.Cultivating gratitude requires will and discipline just like any other activity, so continuous training produces physical and emotional benefits. In this way, the grateful can see the positivity even in moments of suffering, evaluating these elements to integrate with their existence.

So gratitude includes a balanced view of the positive and negative aspects of the experience (Moyano, 2011). Facing life situations, the reflection of gratitude can be an adaptive psychological strategy, i.e., an ability to adapt to such situations, as well as an important development in which the person can positively interpret their everyday experiences.

You can start by spending a few minutes before you go to sleep, thinking about everything that happened to you during the day, maybe for a meeting with your friends, for having a coat that protects you from the cold when you leave home, for the message that keeps you in a good mood, for family, that you are alive and healthy. For all of those experiences and decisions that led you to this moment; Because, even from the bad experiences you learn, you get mature, they strengthen your character and prepare you to make better decisions tomorrow. As long as identifying the blessings around you is part of you, you can do this practice whenever you want.

Not only does it build a good relationship with you and others, but thanksgiving in a real and honest way opens the door to better health. So give thanks every day, beyond the second Monday in October or the last Thursday in November.