This blog describes the benefits of gratitude. Many types of New Year resolutions are made--from dieting and exercising to breaking bad habits such as smoking or reckless spending of money. An article in the November 2012 issue of Psychology Today (www.psychologytoday.com) presents results from several scientific studies that target a different topic--that of gratitude. Practicing gratitude regularly can keep you healthier and happier including sleeping better, experiencing less depression and anxiety, and having fewer aches ana pains. Yet few people know about these benefits nor do they know how to practice gratitude.
Practicing gratitude can be done in several ways: by keeping a daily journal of things one is grateful for; by frequently telling a spouse, family member or friend something you appreciate about them; or by looking in the mirror and thinking about something you have done well recently or something you like about yourself (www.huffingtonpost.com/ocean-robbins/having-gratitude-b_1073105.html).
Making a New Year's resolution to practice gratitude fits right in with methods for growing up one's ego. For example an individual in the fifth conformist ego-growth stage who is preoccupied with appearance, material things, and reputation is not apt to think in terms of being grateful. However individuals established in the sixth-self aware stage and higher stages of growth consider many possibilities for improving behaviors and attitudes. As such practicing gratitude is a powerful way to advance in ego growth. In addition to making a gratitude New Year's resolution many suggestions for making ego-growth progress can be found in Grow Up Your Ego: Ten Scientifically Validated Stages to Emotional and Spiritual Maturity.