Find out about the power of gratitude
So I know that you might be thinking that we’re crazy people trying to sell you ‘magic rocks’, but I promise you we’re not! Just hear us out.
Gratitude stones have been around for a while and the way they work is so simple, but effective. First of all, let me just explain to you why and how being grateful is so great.
The thing about us humans is, we always want more: more money, more clothes, a nicer house, a better job, the list goes on. Having more money can make us happy but because of ‘hedonic adaptation’ we quickly get used to it and stop enjoying it as much as we first did. This is what is known as ‘The Hedonic Treadmill’. It’s the reason we were able to evolve, why we weren’t content to live in mud huts, why we keep on making huge technological advances. Realistically without it our species would have gone extinct. The problem is when we let our endless pursuit of growth overwhelm and block our pursuit of happiness.
One of the most important and growing costs of the modern way of life is ‘cultural fraud’: the promotion of images and ideals of ‘the good life’ that serve the economy but do not meet psychological needs, nor reflect social realities.
When we stop and think of things that we are grateful for we can start to appreciate what we do have which makes us happy, and when we tell people we are grateful we make them feel appreciated which makes them happier and so on and so forth.
Some people may associate gratitude with weakness, and owing someone. But Gratitude is not the same as indebtedness. It takes strength to admit to the truth of our interdependency. Not to mention there are so many benefits of gratitude! These are just a few;
Our social lives improve: When you say ‘thank you’ to someone and show your appreciation you become more likable. Kind of obvious really but isn’t it funny how we sometimes forget this.
Our careers can improve: If you are a manager in your workplace, how often do you acknowledge your gratitude to the people who work under you? Criticism comes all too easily to most, while the ability to feel gratitude and express praise is often lacking. A Harvard study found that managers who said ‘thank you’ to the people who work for them found those employees were more motivated to work and 50% more productive.
Our health can improve: There have been a multitude of studies proving that there is a correlation between gratitude and better health, people who take the time to be grateful, take better care of themselves maybe because they appreciate their lives a little bit more so they make that extra effort to take care of themselves. It also has been shown to reduce stress levels, as many of us know too much stress can be very damaging to health. In fact, Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
Our emotions can improve: Gratitude studies have shown that it can improve self-esteem and reduce insecurities. It can reduce stress, and make us feel more balanced and happy.
To sum things up, the more we can practice being grateful, the happiness and positivity we can generate in our lives. Maybe our stones do have a little bit of magic….
The key is to make this a part of your routine; it takes up to 30 days for your brain to make an adaptive change. This is where our stones come in to play! If you keep one in your pocket or your bag with your house keys (or anywhere that you will pick it up on a daily basis) then every morning and evening when you leave or enter the house, or empty your pockets then you will be reminded to stop and think of things in your life that you are grateful for. It can be the smallest of things like the sun shining or somebody making you a cup of tea, people that have helped you in some way, or that you feel thankful for having in your life, just because they make you smile.
There are lots of other ways you can practice gratefulness; you could keep a gratitude journal and write down things from each day that you feel grateful for. You could start writing notes or letters or e-mails of gratitude to people. Pick a day or a time that you will dedicate to ‘count your blessings’. Use meditation to focus on something you are grateful for. Whatever works best for you. Start your gratitude challenge and let us know what positive changes happen for you!