Submitted by Past Commander
Mulzim R. Fidai, MAVA National
Practicing gratitude feeds your well-being.
You’d be hard put to find someone who’s actually read the 1913 children’s novel, Pollyanna, but the character’s name lives on as shorthand for someone who is relentlessly, even foolishly, optimistic.
It turns out your Pollyanna was on to something with her “glad game” –finding something to be glad about in every situation.
Over the past decade, science has found that practicing gratitude has a positive influence on one’s mood, outlook, relationships, and overall happiness – all of which can buffer against depression and anxiety.
In one 2008 study, British researchers concluded that gratitude has a strong association with well-being and social functioning. And a person’s measure of gratitude can predict life satisfaction.
In a subsequent study, they also found that people who score higher on gratitude measures tend to sleep better.
An analysis of Swiss adults, published in January 2013 in the journal Personality and individual Differences, linked “dispositional gratitude” (translation – a general “attitude of gratitude”) of better psychological health.
Practicing gratitude also appears to play a role in promoting resilience. A study in the Journal of Research in Personality (April 2013) examined the role of gratitude and “grit” in reducing suicidal thoughts among 209 college students.
Grit was defined as having long-term interests and passions and a willingness to push past setbacks in order to progress toward goals.
Researchers from George Mason University found that those who unutilized both grit and gratitude were less inclined to ruminate on troublesome situations.
It appears the two work together, the researches noted: Gratefulness helps you appreciate and seek out the good aspects of life, while grit helps to accept and overcome frustrations.
(In other words, an attitude of gratitude can help you stay focused on your goals and not let the created things of this world drag you down.)
There was a time when feeling appreciative of anything seemed out of reach.
One of the most popular and powerful tools for cultivating thankfulness is to keep a gratitude journal. … Devoted 10 to 15 minutes each morning to your journal.
Also write regular thank-you notes once or twice a week – whether cards, letter, texts, or emails.
Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California-Davis, is co-author of a landmark 2003 study that found undergraduates who kept a weekly gratitude list for 10 weeks reported fewer health complaints, exercised more regularly, and felt better about their lives than comparison groups who either listed five things that annoyed them each week or simply listed five events that had happened.
It helps to be specific about why you are thankful. A good exercise to practice is: “ It’s a wonderful Life approach.” Consider how life would be without a certain special person in you life.
Or use visual reminders: Post pictures of loved ones or meaningful experiences in places where you can create a gratitude will in your home to act as a constant reminder to savor the wonderful people and moments in your life.
Muslim American Veteran Association’s MAVA Natl. Past Commander
P.O. Box 891, Martinsburg, W. V. 25401
Phone (304) 283-3156 / Email firstname.lastname@example.org