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How to cultivate gratitude

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A relationship between gratitude and materialism ➝

Numerous studies have already shown that people who are more materialistic are generally less satisfied with their standards of living, their relationships and their lives as a whole. With that being the case, the researchers wondered if anything could moderate that relationship and in effect make materialistic people more satisfied with their lot.

To test their theory, the trio analyzed the results of a specially designed questionnaire sent to 249 university students. The main results were as expected. “People who pursue happiness through material gain tend to feel worse, and this is related to negative appraisals of their satisfaction with life,” they confirmed.

However, their results also demonstrated that gratitude, and to a lesser extent, positive affect, both ‘buffer’ the negative effects of materialism, in effect making more grateful individuals more satisfied with their lives.

Restaurant gratitude ➝

From the Onion:

Man Filled With Gratitude At Sight Of Other Customer In Nice Restaurant Wearing Jeans

Grateful to who? ➝

Grateful to nobody or nothing she told me. Just grateful. She explained how each day she takes time out to think of five things that she is grateful for in life. She told me it generally tended to put her in good humour, and helped her think more kindly about the world. "You should try it," was her unasked for advice. "And it is not a competition," she warned me. "It can be small things and big things and they can change as often as you like. Don't take it too seriously," I was told. "Just do it."

Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer ➝

I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.
Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.

Say thank you ➝

From Time's 10 Ways to Improve Your Relationship Instantly:

Think about the last time your partner did something to help you out or made you feel special, and then say "thank you" for it. "You get so comfortable with your partner, it's easy to expect them to meet your needs," Saltz says. Too often couples forget to express a simple thanks, whether one of you helps out with the chores or surprises the other with a gift. And have you ever said thank you to your partner for simply being in your life? It's important to express gratitude for this — not just for what they're doing for you, Goldsmith says.

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