The first days of the year good intentions pile up, one over the other!
"I'll start a sport!". "I'll begin a diet!". "I'll eat more healthily!" "I'll be good!" Good intentions that are often abandoned. But there is one resolution that must be added in the list, because it will grant a great sense of psychophysical well-being. Research psychology confirms!
Be grateful! The invitation to gratitude comes directly from the California UC Davis campus, that has placed this feeling at the center of its studies with children.
Researchers have discovered that developing this kind of feeling leads to an improvement in the psychophysical function, mental performance and general well-being of the person.
Not to be confused with a formal attitude, gratitude is a deep feeling, according to researchers more similar to love, that brings forth pleasant emotions, internal lightness, and recognition.
This is also the opinion of psychoanalyst Melanie Klein, author of the first infant and gratitude psychology studies that have constituted the scientific support for the research of the UC Davis team. Dr. Klein maintains that this emotion is one of the most evident expressions of the ability to love, "an essential factor for a relationship with a good object and to appreciate the goodness of others and one's own."
The origin of such a capability can apparently be traced very early on, in the first phases of the child's development. But we believe it is never too late! Also because gratitude sometimes gives in to envy, a negative feeling that indicates a failure in resolving contrasting emotions.
Researchers conclude that gratitude, like a muscle, can be exercised.
So, let's train this feeling! In exchange we will obtain positive thoughts, pleasant emotions, better self-esteem, but also a resistance to stress, and thus a benefit to our health. According to the National Institutes of Health gratitude improves the blood flow in the brain, stimulates dopamine and hypothalamus activity.
So… be grateful!