Positive psychology and gratitude

When stress threatens to take over your life, it is up to you to choose how to respond to your experience of stress. Notice your typical tactics for dealing with stressful events. Do you recall tendencies to react to stress with negativity, tension, or anxiety? Do you tend to respond to stress with calmness, stability, or mindfulness?

Positive psychology and gratitude

The simple yet powerful idea that there is a reciprocal interaction between thoughts, moods, behaviors and biology is a remarkable way of understanding experiences — pathological and healthy. The model further accounts for early experiences that create or contribute to ways that we look at ourselves and others.

Positive psychology has been one of the more exciting developments in psychology in the last 15 years. It is not surprising that Martin Seligman, one of the luminaries of CBT has been at the forefront of positive psychology.

The CBT model seems wholly consistent with newer developments in positive psychology. The traditional CBT model may be a template to understand positive as well as negative experiences as well as other dimensions that are the focus of positive psychology.

Sonja Lyubomirsky in The How of Happiness describes multiple happiness activities including cultivating optimism cognition and practicing acts of kindness behavior.

Cognitive therapists are very familiar with the negative, pessimistic explanatory style of depressed patients. We address this regularly in treatment. The opposite side of this coin is the cultivation of optimism — a positive psychology exercise. Research has demonstrated that optimism is correlated with happiness or a sense of well-being.

A change in our thinking optimism affecting a change in our mood happiness is the nature of the reciprocally interacting CBT model. Lyubomirsky goes on to describe research demonstrating that practicing acts of kindness behavior also contributes to happiness.

Similarly, this is entirely consistent with the CBT model which suggests that any change in behavior or cognition will be followed by a change in mood. The CBT model is one way of explaining the results of these positive psychology exercises. Research findings in the field of positive psychology may expand the CBT model to positive emotions and a sense of well-being.

Gratitude is a foundational theme in many religious traditions and has been extensively researched in the positive psychology literature. Gratitude may be thought of as a belief or a cognitive processing style while the expression of gratitude is a behavior.

Gratitude is a combination of the head and the heart. Research suggests that the activation of a grateful attitude and the behavioral expression of gratitude are likely to lead to a greater sense of happiness. In this situation the CBT reciprocal interaction model continues to work but in a positive direction instead of the negative direction that we traditionally talk about.

The link between CBT and positive psychology is also evident in treatment interventions originating out of positive psychology. This is a fourteen session group psychotherapy model for depression based on positive psychology principles. In part, the treatment interventions include what may be considered positive cognitive and behavioral exercises including recognizing blessings cognitiveidentifying positive experiences that happened during the day cognitivewriting behavioral a forgiveness cognitive letter, writing behavioral a gratitude cognitive letter, cultivating optimism cognitiveengaging in pleasurable activities behavioralsavoring cognitive and behavioraland developing meaning cognitive in life.

Although this is in the very early stages of research, a positive psychotherapy group intervention with depressed patients based on this treatment manual produced significant and encouraging results.

Positive psychology and gratitude

The danger in using the CBT model to understand positive psychology is that it becomes a Procrustean Bed which unfairly neglects important and distinctive components of positive psychology.Positive psychology research has found that those who pursue these three lives, pleasure, engagement, and meaning, have by far the most life satisfaction, with engagement and meaning far and away the biggest contributors to fulfillment.

→ The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life; The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life gratitude –> positive emotion –> an extra few months or years on earth.

With positive psychology research on the rise, I believe we can expect this. Many of these studies demonstrated the efficacy of positive psychology interventions such as counting your blessings [29, 30], practicing kindness, setting personal goals [32, 33], expressing gratitude [30, 34] and using personal strengths to enhance well-being, and, in some cases, to alleviate depressive symptoms.

Many of these interventions. Gratitude, like other positive emotions, has inspired many theological and philosophical writings, but it has inspired very little vigorous, empirical research. In an effort to remedy this oversight, this volume brings together prominent scientists from various disciplines to examine what has become known as the most-neglected emotion.

Positive Psychology Reflection Gratitude Letter. March 1, Uncategorized bnl Dear Erin, Over the past three years you have changed my life for the better.

And I don’t know if you are fully aware of how you have impacted my life. You have become my guardian angel. You are a person who I look up to the most and inspire to become. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.

Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

In Praise of Gratitude - Harvard Health