فوائد جمة للشكر


وقال روبرت إيه امونس الباحث في علم النفس في جامعة كاليفورنيا في دايفيس، إن الأشخاص الذين يشعرون بالامتنان، عادة ما يتمتعون بصحة أفضل من غيرهم، كما تقل لديهم الأعراض المرضية، ولديهم طاقة كبيرة، ولهم علاقات اجتماعية أوسع، إضافة إلى تمتعهم بروابط زوجية أقوى، وربما بمدخول مادي أكبر، مقارنة بأشخاص من غير الشاكرين! وأضاف الباحث، وفقاً لما نقلته صحيفة «ماكلاتشي تريبيون» الأميركية، إن الشاكرين يخلدون إلى النوم بسهولة، وينامون بعمق ولفترات أطول، ويستيقظون هانئي البال.
ونوه الباحث بأن زيادة مستويات الشعور بالشكر والامتنان تزيد من مستويات «إميونوغلوبولين إيه» immunoglobulin A

في الحنجرة والأنف، الأمر الذي يزيد من مقدرة الجسم على مقاومة العدوى الخبيثة. كما أشار إلى دور الامتنان في تقليل هرمون التوتر في الجسم.

والـ«إميونوغلوبولين إيه» هو صنف من الأجسام المضادة التي يفرزها الجسم لمكافحة الفيروسات والبكتيريا. ويقترح إيمونسن عدداً من التطبيقات التي تؤدي، إذا ما تم تطبيقها بقناعة تامة، إلى تعزيز مشاعر الامتنان والشكر لدى الإنسان، ومنها:

* تسجيل الملاحظات حول الأمور أو المغانم الجيدة التي حصلت خلال اليوم.

* المحافظة على ممارسة الشكر بانتظام.

* تركيز الانتباه على ما قدمه لك الآخرون من الأمور الجيدة.

* تعلم لغة الشكر بدلا من لغة الشكوى. والطلب من الأقرباء والأصدقاء مساعدتك في ذلك.

* توظيف المشاعر للتعرف على الحاضر وتقدير ما توصلت إليه من نعمة؛ تقدير ابتسامة الطفل، قدح الشاي الذي تتناوله في الصباح، روعة الغروب.

* تنفيذ أفعال حميدة مليئة بالامتنان.. ابتسم، اعطف على الناس، ساعد الغرباء

Highlights from the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness
Dimensions and Perspectives of Gratitude

Co-Investigators: Robert A. Emmons, University of California, Davis
Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami
Gratitude is the “forgotten factor” in happiness research. We are engaged in a long-term research project designed to create and disseminate a large body of novel scientific data on the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its potential consequences for human health and well-being. Scientists are latecomers to the concept of gratitude. Religions and philosophies have long embraced gratitude as an indispensable manifestation of virtue, and an integral component of health, wholeness, and well-being. Through conducting highly focused, cutting-edge studies on the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its consequences, we hope to shed important scientific light on this important concept. This document is intended to provide a brief, introductory overview of the major findings to date of the research project. For further information, please contact Robert Emmons. This project is supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.



We are engaged in two main lines of inquiry at the present time: (1) developing methods to cultivate gratitude in daily life and assess gratitude’s effect on well-being, and (2) developing a measure to reliably assess individual differences in dispositional gratefulness.



Gratitude Interventions and Psychological and Physical Well-Being


In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).


A related benefit was observed in the realm of personal goal attainment: Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions.


A daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others). There was no difference in levels of unpleasant emotions reported in the three groups.


Participants in the daily gratitude condition were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or having offered emotional support to another, relative to the hassles or social comparison condition.


In a sample of adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention resulted in greater amounts of high energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality, relative to a control group.


Children who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and their families (Froh, Sefick, & Emmons, 2008).



Measuring the Grateful Disposition


Most people report being grateful (an average rating of nearly 6 on a 7 point scale).


Well-Being: Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.


Prosociality: People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful by people in their social networks (McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002).


Spirituality: Those who regularly attend religious services and engage in religious activities such as prayer reading religious material score are more likely to be grateful. Grateful people are more likely to acknowledge a belief in the interconnectedness of all life and a commitment to and responsibility to others (McCullough et. al., 2002). Gratitude does not require religious faith, but faith enhances the ability to be grateful.


Materialism: Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods; they are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions accumulated; they are less envious of others; and are more likely to share their possessions with others relative to less grateful persons.
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Selected Bibliography
Bono, G., Emmons, R.A., & McCullough, M.E. (2004). Gratitude in practice and the practice of gratitude.

In P. A. Linley and S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice. New York: Wiley.

Emmons, R.A., & McCullough, M.E. (Eds.). (2004). The psychology of gratitude. New York: Oxford

University Press.

Emmons, R.A. (2004). Gratitude. In M.E.P. Seligman & C. Peterson (Eds.), Character

strengths and virtues (pp. 553-568). New York: Oxford University Press.

Emmons, R.A. (2007). Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. New York: Houghton-Mifflin.

Emmons, R.A., & McCullough, M.E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: Experimental studies of

gratitude and subjective well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 377-389

Emmons, R.A. (2003). Acts of gratitude in organizations. In K. S. Cameron, J. E. Dutton, & R.

E. Quinn (Eds.), Positive organizational scholarship (pp. 81-93). San Francisco: Berrett-

Koehler Publishers.

Emmons, R.A. & Shelton, C.S. (2001). Gratitude and the science of positive psychology. In

C.R. Snyder and S.J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 459-471). New York: Oxford University Press.

Emmons, R.A., & Hill, J. (2001). Words of gratitude for body, mind, and soul. Radnor, PA: Templeton

Foundation Press.

Froh, J., Sefick, W.J., & Emmons, R.A. (2008). Counting blessings in early adolescents: An experimental study of gratitude and subjective well-being. Journal of School Psychology.46, 213- 233.

McCullough, M.E. (2002). Savoring life, past and present: Explaining what hope and gratitude share

in common. Psychological Inquiry, 13, 202-204.

McCullough, M.E., Emmons, R.A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: A conceptual

and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112-127.

McCullough, M.E., Kirkpatrick, S., Emmons, R.A., & Larson, D. (2001). Is gratitude a moral

affect? Psychological Bulletin, 127, 249-266.

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