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But how much effort do you think is involved in doubling your income? Motivational speakers will tell you that the money is worth the sacrifices. Applying that same level of energy towards strengthening one’s relationships, cultivating compassion and gratitude, and so on much more reliably creates positive, transformative change.
Said differently, material success is not a very important factor in the happiness of highly grateful people.
This also means that we get use to the bad things that happen to us.
Put more simply, we get use to the good things that happen to us.
In fact, some recent science shows just that – those who engage in gratitude practices have been shown to feel less pain, go to the doctor less often, have lower blood pressure, and be less likely to develop a mental disorder. think of it as a reflection of my personality, it comes out naturally 🙂 The research for this post took an extremely long time (~25-30 hours), but because I’m such a nerd, that was fun and just replaced my usual reading time.
If it’s thinking about a few things we have to be grateful for today, it will induce the relaxation response, knock us out, and keep us that way. In another study of 400 healthy people, those participants who had higher scores on a gratitude test also had significantly better sleep.
They reported faster time to sleep, improved sleep quality, increased sleep duration, and less difficulty staying awake during the day. It’s no far stretch that some of the benefits (e.g.
Those who are more materialistic are more likely to relentlessly pursue wealth. Gratitude has caused me to focus less on things that don’t matter, like making money, and more on the things that do, like my family and this blog. Spiritual transcendence is I believe the opposite to also be true, that gratitude spontaneously gives rise to spiritual attribution, helping one feel closer to God or other religious entities.
So while gratitude won’t make you lazy, over your lifetime you may end up earning less money. You may, for example, spend time with friends, family, and your hobbies. I am irreligious, and have found gratitude practices to make my spiritual position difficult – those moments when I feel intense gratitude make me want to believe in a benevolent God. What if I told you that just one thing can help you in all of those areas? After repeated exposure to the same emotion-producing stimulus, we tend to experience less of the emotion.