I WANT TO KNOW IF THERE IS RESEARCH ON WHY GRATITUDE IS IMPORTANT

SOLUTION ONE

Dr. Korb’s research on training your brain for gratitude and the benefits of it

SOLUTION TWO

Emmons and McCoullough’s research on blessings versus burdens

SOLUTION THREE

A study by Monica Y. Bartlett and David DeSteno on how gratitude affects prosocial behavior

SOLUTION ONE

Dr. Korb share their research on gratitude and positive outcomes

Dr. Alex Korb has a lot of ground-breaking research in neuroscience, but one of his notable discoveries is that the mere act of thinking of something to be grateful for can have many health benefits. 

Dr. Korb, through his research, was able to find out that when people simply tried to think about something to be grateful for they triggered their dopamine system. Just thinking of what to be grateful about activated the brain stem system that makes dopamine, even if you could not come up with an answer. Training your brain to think of positive things that make you happy makes you better at thinking of things that make you happy. The more you are able to do the more your serotonin increases. 

Alex Korb PhD is a neuroscientist, writer, and coach. He has studied the brain for over 15 years, attending Brown University as an undergraduate and later earning his Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. He has published over a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles on depression, neuromodulation and other topics, and is the author of The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time.
-credit: www.dralexkorbphd.com

The Upward Spiral, by Dr. Alex Korb

SOLUTION TWO

Emmons and McCoullough’s research on blessings versus burdens

Emmons and McCollough are known for being leaders in the study of gratitude. Together they studied the effects of keeping gratitude journals and writing down things to be grateful for compared to writing down benign events or bad events. They found out that people who kept track of things to be grateful for were healthier, accomplished more of their goals and looked at the future with more optimism than the other groups.

The lesson they were hoping to send out was to appreciate the good at all times. Even when things are bad, be grateful for the lesson you will get out of the struggle. You can always write down that you are happy you can walk or that you are happy you ate your whole bowl of spaghetti without spilling on yourself. Nothing is too outside the box to start the practice of grateful thinking.

credit:
The American Psychology Association, Inc.
Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life

Thanks, How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier by, Robert Emmons, PhD

SOLUTION THREE

A study by Monica Y. Bartlett and David DeSteno on how gratitude affects prosocial behavior

In their study, Bartlett and DeSteno look into how gratitude has implications on building relationships. When they broke their sample group into three categories they found that the group that was given the gratitude manipulation was able to connect more with the confederate (the person planted in the study as the other human to gauge prosocial, or positive social, behavior).

Through the study, they were able to find that the participants’ gratitude was elevated and as a result exerted more effort to help their peers. Simply put, gratitude makes you more likely to assist others, which makes them more likely to assist others, which makes a better place all around.

credit: 

Psychological Science: Gratitude and Prosocial Behavior Helping When It Costs You by, Monica Y. Bartlett and David DeSteno

Emotional Success: The Power of Gratitude, Compassion, and Pride by David DeSteno

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