LIPO: Embracing a life of gratitude

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LIPO: Embracing a life of gratitude

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

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It is easy to take gratitude for granted. With the ever-changing world we live in, individuals often fall into a pattern of the fast-paced activities and schedules that often guide their lives. When we take a second to slow down and appreciate the day to day, it has been proven to positively influence many parts of life.

Students can reap the rewards of practicing gratitude in daily life, especially as the school year starts to wind down and exams and projects rapidly approach.

Research has proved that gratitude has some unforeseen powers. For example, a Harvard Mental Health letter,  focuses on the idea that gratitude allows individuals to connect to something that is bigger than themselves, whether that be a higher power, nature or the people that surrounded them.

In fact, the letter goes as far as to point out that gratitude is even connected to a higher level of happiness overall. It can allow humans to relish positive emotions, build lasting relationships, boost self esteem and get through difficult times. Focusing on the people and the things that make life better can be beneficial in appreciating life. 

At the University of California, a project is underway to shed light on these benefits of gratitude, as well as many more. Robert Emmons is one of the lead researchers on this project. He said he believes that gratitude has two main components. The first part is focusing on the goodness that exists in our life. The second is realizing that this goodness comes from outside ourselves, enabling us to appreciate the gifts in our lives even more. When we appreciate these gifts, it can also encourage us to pay our gifts forward, and give back to other people as well.

The Graziadio Business Journal says gratitude can even benefit larger organizations. It can create a workforce that is happier and more motivated to do their work. Creating a dedicated work force who enjoys their jobs and are passionate about what they’re doing is vital to retention rates in the workplace and how much an organization or a company can accomplish. In education, students who express gratitude will feel less stress when dealing with exams and will be satisfied with themselves, which is vital to building self esteem and believing in one’s abilities, according to the American Psychological Association. 

Additionally, the Business Journal points out that these benefits can last a lifetime and even extend a lifespan. These positive feelings can increase increased physiological functions like heart, pulse and respiration rates. It can also benefit the immune system, which leads to less chance of disease and sickness over time.

Reaping the rewards of exhibiting more gratitude is more than just saying thank you and celebrating Thanksgiving once a year. It may involve meditation or taking an extra couple minutes each day to debrief and appreciate things in life. And expressing gratitude and taking that time for yourself allows individuals to slow down, especially in fast-paced and stressful situations and times of life. Slowing down and appreciating the nature, people and things in one’s life that are worth giving thanks for can go a long way.

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