On day two, I wrote that research shows being thankful every day makes our relationships better, improves our physical and mental health, and helps us deal with life’s hard times. Now I've come across even more benefits.
The American Psychological Association cites a study here that concludes gratitude’s positive emotional effect on people creates three important moral functions:
- Moral barometer: We acknowledge we have benefited because of another person’s kindness, reinforcing that people are good.
- Moral motive: Gratitude motivates us to do good things for the person who was kind to us and to also pay it forward to others.
- Moral reinforcer: Expressing our gratitude to the person who has done something for us makes him feel good and increases the chance he will continue to do good things for others.
In a nutshell, gratitude makes the world a better place.
The researchers also concluded that, just as shame shapes the way we see our world negatively, gratitude shapes it positively. It is a powerful counter to life's negatives. By the way, some of these same functions listed above also apply if the One you are grateful to is your Maker.
What are you grateful for today? Here’s part of my list for The Big Joy of Little Things - Day 10:
43. Getting a call out of the blue from an old family friend who wants to come visit.
44. My church, where I connect to God and to those who are also trying to walk a path of faith. The time spent there strengthens and encourages me in deep and meaningful ways..
45. Being able to renew my driver's license online instead of having to sit for hours in the purgatory that is the department of motor vehicles office.
46. Take out instead of cooking. Joy!
Wishing you peace, love and gratitude! Oh, and join our happy little circle by adding your email address below. We'd love to have you.