Do You Have an Attitude of Gratitude?

Do You Have an Attitude of Gratitude?

Do you regularly express gratitude? It turns out that an "attitude of gratitude" is not only wise for building positive relationships, but good for your health. "If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system," Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, expert in brain and mind health. There are more reasons than you think for expressing gratitude. Beside the positive effects on health, gratitude brings about an increased ability to cope with stress, anxiety, and improves sleep. Studies have shown that gratitude can produce measurable effects on a number of systems in your body, including: Mood neurotransmitters Reproductive hormones Blood sugar Blood pressure and cardiac rhythms Stress hormones Inflammatory and immune systems Cognitive neurotransmitters If you take your wellbeing seriously, you may want to increase the frequency at which you feel and express gratitude. The Study of Gratitude Traditionally, psychologists focused on understanding distress rather than positive emotions.  However, with the current focus on Positive Psychology, scientists are now looking at gratitude to understand the experience of the emotion, individual differences in frequency, and the relationship between these two aspects. One study is looking at the link between spirituality and gratitude. Some have found that those who regularly attend religious services are more likely to have a greater sense of gratitude in all areas of life. Researchers have also looked at the obstacles of gratitude and found self-absorption and entitlement as massive impediments.  When you are preoccupied with yourself, it is easy to forget your benefits and benefactors. With an attitude of “I deserve this,” or “you owe...