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INTRODUCTION TO GRATITUDE

Experienced globally and across cultures, gratitude is about focusing on the good in our lives and appreciating what we have. Gratitude may be elicited when another person provides some aid or benefit, but it also stems from non-social sources, such as feeling thankful for waking up each morning. Gratitude consists of three components: a feeling of appreciation for someone or something, a sense of goodwill toward that person or thing, and an inclination to respond positively due to appreciation and goodwill.

 

Gratitude is vital to human flourishing and has the potential for myriad positive outcomes. For instance, people who routinely practice gratitude by noticing and reflecting upon what they are thankful for report heightened appreciation of positive qualities, situations, and people; improved psychological wellbeing; and increased life satisfaction. Moreover, gratitude predicts hope, happiness, relationship satisfaction, and prosociality.

 

The practice of gratitude also correlates with fewer symptoms of physical illness and diminished envy and materialism. It has negative associations with symptoms of depression and anxiety, neuroticism, and substance abuse. We, humans, have a negative bias. We are hardwired to notice environmental threats and tend to remember “bad” events over “good” ones. Gratitude cultivates a more positive outlook as the brain attests to the positive things in the world.

Resources and Additional Readings

Ellis, B.J., Jackson, J.J., & Boyce, W.T. (2006). The stress response systems: Universality and adaptive individual differences. Developmental Review, 26, 175–212.

 

Kalmbach, D.A., Anderson, J.R., & Drake, C.L. (2018). The impact of stress on sleep: Pathogenic sleep reactivity as a vulnerability to insomnia and circadian disorders. Journal of Sleep Research, 27, 1-39.

 

Kim, H.G., Cheon, E.J., Bai, D.S., Lee, Y.H., & Koo, B.H. (2018). Stress and heart rate variability: A meta-analysis and review of

the literature. Psychiatry Investigation, 15, 235–245.

 

Lazarus, R.S. & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. Springer.

 

Raposa, E.B., Laws, H.B., & Ansell, E.B. (2016). Prosocial behavior mitigates the negative effects of stress in everyday life. Clinical Psychological Science, 4, 691–698.

 

Salleh, M.R. (2008). Life events, stress, and illness. The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, 15, 9–18.

 

Sinha, R. (2008). Chronic stress, drug use, and vulnerability to addiction. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1141, 105-130.

 

Yaribeygi, H., Panahi, Y., Sahraei, H., Johnston, T. P., & Sahebkar, A. (2017). The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI Journal, 16, 1057–1072.

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When you have a Therapeutic Mentoring Session with Corinne Pulliam, at Positive Peer Mentoring she will:

  • Recognize her reactions to what the client is telling her.

  • Be non-judgmental and empathic.

  • Show a genuine interest in what the client is telling her.

  • Try to use the language of the client she is interacting with.

  • Validate what the client is telling her and show the client she is actively listening.

  • Find out what else is happening in the client's life (stress, relationship difficulties, etc.)

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