WHAT could a little gratitude do for The Global Founder Framers of !WOW!, students of the entire world, and mankind's health and happiness?

''GRATITUDE heals, energizes and changes lives. It is the prism through which we view life in terms of gifts, givers, goodness and grace.''

WHAT IS GRATITUDE? : Gratitude is a positive emotion that can arise when you acknowledge that you have goodness in your life and that other people or higher powers, if you believe in them -have helped you achieve that goodness.

TWO DECADES AGO, a landmark study led by psychologist Robert A Emmons sought to understand how people benefit from gratitude, a question that scientists had rarely explored until then.

Dr. Emmons's findings - which suggested that gratitude may improve psychological well-being -inspired a spate of additional research.

To date, numerous studies have found that having a grateful outlook, ''counting one's blessings'' and expressing gratitude to others can have positive effects on our emotional health as well as interpersonal and romantic relationships.

In addition, some studies, but not all, have shown that gratitude can benefit physical health.

'' Gratitude heals, energizes and changes lives,'' Dr. Emmons said. ''It is the prism through which we view life in terms of gifts, givers, goodness and grace.''

In other words, the sources of the good things ''lie partially outside the self,'' Dr. Emmons said.

You might feel gratitude when someone is kind to you, for example.

'' But feeling it only half the equation,'' said Philip Watkins, a professor of psychology at Eastern Washington University and the author of  ''Gratitude and the Good Life.'' Expressing gratitude is equally important to reap the benefits of this emotion, he said.

How Does It Benefit You?

Many studies have asked participants to write letters of thanks, or to list the positive things in their lives, and then measured the effects of those acts.

The results suggest that performing these types of activities provides mental health benefits.

But some studies noted that gratitude interventions are not necessarily more effective than other kinds of activities to enhance well-being like asking people to write about the details of their day. Even so, that doesn't make gratitude activities any less useful, the experts said.

Multiple studies have shown that expressing gratitude to acquaintances, co-workers, friends or romantic partners can offer a relationship ''boost'' and ''helps bind us more closely,'' said Sara Algoe, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who has researched how gratitude aids relationships.

What's more, when analyzing people's dispositions, researchers have found that those who are more prone to experience gratitude in their daily lives have lower levels of depression and sleep better.

And not only does gratitude improve the well-being of the giver and their recipient, but it may also be good for those who witness it :

Watching an act of gratitude between two people can cause an observer to feel more warmth and affinity toward them both.

'' What impresses me are the objective, biologically verifiable outcomes that go beyond self-report measures,'' Dr.Emmons said.

For example, gratitude has also been associated with lower blood pressure, and in one pilot study, higher levels of heart rate variability, a marker of well-being.

'' Gratitude seems to be the gift that keeps on giving,'' Dr. Algae said.

The Publishing of this splendid essay continues. The World Students Society thanks author Christina Caron. 


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