Gratitude & Positivity
Don’t have a snappy intro for this one. I’m not some kind of guru or pop psychologist, but I do think gratitude is on the whole, real good for you. Here’s some thoughts about why.
Gratitude is a Mood Booster
There’s an excellent thread from Nick Cammarata about this:
my happiest friends are all impressed by everything all the time— Nick Cammarata (@nickcammarata) February 15, 2021
I think the reason is that being impressed is a combination of being perceptive in the moment -- literally the senses "impressing" into you -- and gratitude, two keys to life satisfaction— Nick Cammarata (@nickcammarata) February 15, 2021
Basically, if you can be curious and enthusiastic for irrelevant things, you get to derive more enjoyment from the world around you than if you have very narrow criteria for what interests or pleases you.
There’s also a great video from Visa on how gratitude physically feels good. He also alludes to this tweet thread in the video:
(Insert the Miss G / Visa bit about noticing and gratitude here)
Which creates another important connection: gratitude comes about as a result of whatever you choose to focus on.
Gratitude is Infectious
Adam Grant explains that the evolutionary benefit of gratitude is most likely bonding–making it more likely that people who help you will feel good about it, and help you again in the future. Adam says he understands it in a slightly less transactional way (now that we don’t fight for our survival every day).
“One of the greatest acts of giving you can undertake is to make the other givers in your life feel appreciated.”
Adam goes on to say that in his experience, gratitude in the moment isn’t as impactful as showing gratitude long after someone has given you something to be grateful for.
This lines up with an anecdote from a friend of mine who was involved in his college theater program, and said that people always reacted more positively to being complimented on their performance the Monday after the show than directly after curtain call.
Sources, resources, links
Adam Grant on gratitude being something that must be expressed to reap the benefits.