The greatest challenge is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gratefulness Has Many Benefits

NOVEMBER 23, 2011
What Are You Grateful For?

Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.

Psychologists say that being conscious of who and what you are grateful for has real benefits, from sleeping better to being kinder and less aggressive.
 What are you grateful for? If your gratitude involves people in your life, have you shared your thanks with them?

In his Science Times column, Findings, John Tierney explores the benefits of gratitude and provides several tips for “cultivating an ‘attitude of gratitude,’” like keeping a gratitude journal, with weekly entries consisting of five items the writer is grateful for and why. Other tips include these:

Try it on your family. No matter how dysfunctional your family, gratitude can still work, says Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside.

Share the feeling. Why does gratitude do so much good? “More than other emotion, gratitude is the emotion of friendship,” says Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami. “It is part of a psychological system that causes people to raise their estimates of how much value they hold in the eyes of another person. Gratitude is what happens when someone does something that causes you to realize that you matter more to that person than you thought you did.”
Try a gratitude visit. This exercise, recommended by Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania, begins with writing a 300-word letter to someone who changed your life for the better. Be specific about what the person did and how it affected you. Deliver it in person, preferably without telling the person in advance what the visit is about. When you get there, read the whole thing slowly to your benefactor. “You will be happier and less depressed one month from now,” Dr. Seligman guarantees in his book “Flourish.”

Go for deep gratitude. Once you’ve learned to count your blessings, says Robert A. Emmons, of the University of California, Davis, you can think bigger.

“As a culture, we have lost a deep sense of gratefulness about the freedoms we enjoy, a lack of gratitude toward those who lost their lives in the fight for freedom, a lack of gratitude for all the material advantages we have,” he says. “The focus of Thanksgiving should be a reflection of how our lives have been made so much more comfortable by the sacrifices of those who have come before us.”

Students: Tell us what you are grateful for. If you like, list five things that you are thankful for and add a sentence about each one. Did you try any of the other tips? How did it go?
Go to the article now @ the link below to read the students comments: