The inside scoop on gratitude.
Hello everyone and welcome to our very first EQ4Peace Worldwide, Inc. newsletter and a particular warm welcome into our Gratitude Corner. Thank you for joining us – we value and appreciate your presence here.
My name is Karen Schaal and I am a doctoral researcher specializing in the positive emotion of gratitude. My academic research and personal experimentation with gratitude, has led me to concur that gratitude is the most powerful tool we have for personal change and transformation, and is a major contributor in cultivating inner peace, interpersonal peace, and social peace; the goals of EQ4Peace Worldwide.
The research is significant. Academics, healthcare professionals, those in business and education, all agree; gratitude is a positive modifier; both emotionally and behaviorally. (Bartlett & DeSteno,2006). Yet very few people really understand how gratitude works. And that’s what we will be covering in EQ4Peace’s Gratitude Corner.
We will be looking at what the major minds in emotional intelligence are saying about gratitude, explore how gratitude can be practiced and applied in virtually every area of our lives, and discover how to fully experience the well-documented benefits of an authentic practice of gratitude.
So today, I am going to share with you an inside scoop on gratitude. This one, small bit of information is useful enough, to turn a practice of gratitude upside down- in a good way! Most of us begin a practice of gratitude with some type of activity. Probably the most common type of gratitude activity people pursue is gratitude journaling. Emmons and McCullough (2003) discovered that participants who wrote in gratitude journals, compared to participants who were writing things they were irritated by, were 25% happier and more energetic, had 20% less envy and resentment, slept 10% longer each night, woke up 15% more refreshed, exercised 33% more, and showed a 10% drop in blood pressure. That’s pretty impressive, isn’t it? – an activity that most people do once or twice a day, that carries all these benefits (and actually many more).
Now here’s the scoop. If we are interested in receiving the major transformative benefits of gratitude, that go beyond the benefits just listed, of experiencing joy and happiness, easily and frequently (Woods,2010), then our practice has to expand; it cannot be compartmentalized. That’s the nugget. An authentic practice of gratitude, is an immersive practice, in that the great benefits are accrued when an individual totally immerses him or herself in a practice of gratitude; by looking at and experiencing the world, through the lens of appreciation. Alex Woods and colleagues are clear – it is a life orientation towards appreciation that produces an emotional and behavioral landscape that lends itself to happiness, well-being, and emotional intelligence (Geng,2018).
I continue to be fascinated and intrigued by gratitude. My hope is you will find these talks equally inspiring, and that you will desire to know more about this phenomenal emotion and transformational tool. Again, thank you. I am grateful for your presence here and appreciate your interest
Karen Schaal MS, CiPP, PhDc
Please feel free to pick up a complimentary Kindle copy of my book The Pocket Guide to Gratitude
by using the link below.
“Emotions are our natural superpowers.”
~ Skylar Sustin
Bartlett, M.Y., & DeSteno, D. (2006). Gratitude and prosocial behavior: Helping when it costs you. Psychological Science, 17.
Geng, Y. (2018). Gratitude mediates the effect of emotional intelligence on subjective well-being: A structural equation modeling analysis. Journal of Health Psychology, 23(10).
Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2).
Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J., & Geraghty, A. W. (2010). Gratitude and well-being: a review and theoretical integration. Clinical psychology review, 30(7), 890–905 mm