Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why Bother?

A good place to start in our quest for gratitude is to first ask why.  Why should we bother learning to be a thankful people?  What do you tell a child who asks "Why?" when you tell them to be thankful?  "Because I said so" is lame and you know it.  Here are a few things I found about the benefits of being thankful:

-In a few experiments in 2009 it was found that participants in a daily/weekly gratitude exercise experienced greater levels of optimism, positive mood, and feelings of belongingness.

- In 2008, Jeffrey Froh, Asst. Prof. of Psycholoy at Hofstra was quoted saying "...grateful people who counted blessings were more likely to exercise, more likely to report better sleep; less likely to report these physical complaints. There's even some research done, we're looking at, when you have a sense of appreciation your heart rhythms are more coherent and smooth, which of course is healthy." 

Beyond the physical health benefits, I think being thankful has the power to change your relationships and interactions with each other.  In teaching piano I am much more effective if I enumerate the good things a student does before and (especially) more than the mistakes they make.  How does being thankful change your relationships?

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