The Harvard Medical School published an essay some time ago on the power of gratitude, explaining:
“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.”
Relish, improve, deal, build… Those are verbs we can get behind! Gratitude can be about past blessings, current conditions, or reflect a hopeful and optimistic attitude about the future. One of the best things about an attitude toward gratitude is that it can be cultivated.
In one cited study, three groups of people were directed to write a few sentences each week. One group was instructed to write about irritations or things that had displeased them. The second was directed to write about things that had affected them. The third group was directed to focus on things that had happened for which they were grateful.
After ten weeks, one group was more optimistic about life, and had a greater sense of wellbeing. (That group also happened to exercise more and make fewer visits to the doctor.) You can guess which.
We believe there are interesting implications for the work we do together with you. Short-term fluctuations in the markets may cause irritation, but gratitude for long-term returns might give us a broader perspective. The economy and markets always seem to be a mixed bag, but gratitude for opportunities may help us avoid a focus on problems that might prevent us from investing effectively.
At the heart of all this is a simple truth, that we get to choose what gets our attention. Does choosing gratitude make us healthier, wealthier, and wiser? No guarantees, but we might have more fun while we find out together.
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