As the countdown to Christmas begins, this time of year can change very quickly from a time of giving, sharing, reflecting and gratitude, to a rushed and stressful time where its easy to forget the importance of well-being.
Robert A. Emmons from the University of California, Davis and Michael E. McCullough from the University of Miami conducted a research project in 2003, Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life, where the effect of a grateful outlook on psychological and physical well-being was examined. The results suggested that a conscious focus on counting one’s blessings can have emotional and interpersonal benefits.
The results suggested that a conscious focus on counting one’s blessings can have emotional
Keeping a gratitude journal can be an effective way of enhancing positive thought and wellbeing. Recording weekly entries can help you to pay attention to the good things in life and brings to the fore the stuff you might take for granted. Emmons & McCullough’s research revealed that those who kept gratitude journals reported fewer negative physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week, in comparison with people who wrote about their stresses or generic life events.
When keeping a gratitude journal, it’s important to read back over those entries to remind yourself of the good in your days and what you have to look forward to. Try to record moments that were surprising or unexpected to savour that surprise. Record the positive remarks people say about you. When you’re feeling unappreciated or undervalued by yourself or those around you, those records will remind you that you are valued, appreciated and important. Emmons & McCullough’s research revealed that participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to achieve or make progress toward their personal goals, be they academic, interpersonal or health-based.
Continuing practice of maintaining gratitude for happy thoughts, moments, feedback, goals and possessions can enhance well being and allow for positive thoughts making positive lives, particularly in this busy festive season.
If you are interested in learning more about how to increase your well being and implement positive reflection in your life, we can help. Get in touch with us on (08) 8923 4999 to make an appointment.