Gratitude and Happiness
Robert A. Emmons, Ph. D. has made an academic career of studying the psychological benefits of gratitude on your well being. His research shows that people who take the time to reflect with gratitude feel better about their lives as a whole and are more optimistic. Overall they are more joyful, enthusiastic, interested, attentive, energetic, excited, determined and strong. I would say that Emmons research proves that contemplating on what you are thankful about has a positive effect on your energetic disposition.
In one study Emmons followed three groups over ten weeks. The first group described five things they were grateful for in a single sentence each week. The second group recorded two to five daily hassles that affected them in the past week. The neutral group recorded listed two to five daily circumstances that affected them in the past week. The study found that the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the future. They were 25% happier than the neutral and hassle group AND they exercised 1.5 hours more!
In a second study Emmons also followed three groups but changed the conditions slightly. This time he had the gratitude group record what they were grateful for daily to see if that would make a difference. He kept the hassle group the same. Then he added a comparison group to see if it would differ from the gratitude group. He asked the comparison group to think of a way that you are better off than somebody else. It seems positive on the surface, but he wanted to see if it had a different outcome than the gratitude group.
Well, it did. The participants in the gratitude group felt more joyful, enthusiastic, interested, attentive, energetic, excited, determined and strong than the hassle condition group. Additionally they offered more emotional support to others which led Emmons to conclude that gratitude increases prosocial motivation. Even others who knew the gratitude participants well rated them as more helpful. Daily gratitude intervention also led to greater increases in gratitude.
Recognizing and expressing gratitude has a powerful effect on your overall energy. Today we are practicing yoga postures and breath practices to elevate your energy in the same way as a daily gratitude practice will to connect you with the energy of gratitude.
Yoga Postures/Asanas: Figure Four Pose, Side Plank or Vasisthasana, Spinal Energy Series, Figure Four Pose, Side Plank or Vasisthasana, Spinal Energy Series , Mudra for Joy in Easy Pose, Standing, Breath of Joy, Goddess Victory Squat or Utkata Konasana, Wide Legged Standing Forward Fold or Prasarita Padottanasana, Wild Thing Pose, Zig Zag Twist or Bharadvajasana, Upavista Konasana or Wide Legged Seated Forward Fold, Savasana or Corpse Pose
Yoga Props: yoga strap, meditation cushion, folded blanket or chair, yoga blocks, bolster
Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Robert Emmons
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How has your energy shifted since the beginning of class?
You can show your appreciation for this brand new series of classes on gratitude which is going to take us on a journey towards feeling better about your life, more optimistic, more energized, more joyful, less anxious, being less sick, getting more sleep, and even being more organized with a donation or you can like, subscribe or leave a comment.
Sending you much love from beautiful British Columbia
May you experience the strength of our mountains
May you be as rooted as the trees in our forest
May your joy be as deep as our Pacific Ocean
Yoga with Melissa 287 Photos of Yoga Poses