Why Gratitude Works
During the past year as I have studied Positive Psychology through the teachings of Dr. Tal-Ben-Shahar in a his one year program. During this time I have come to see how well the discipline of Dr. Hartman, Formal Axiology (Value Science) and Positive Psychology fit together. One of the corner stones in positive psychology is positive inquiry. Not to dismiss asking how thing can improve, but to focus an equal amount of our inquiry on what works. Asking ourselves: What is good right now and build on that.
The result of positive inquiry very often amount to a feeling of appreciation. We know from several studies that people that show gratitude regularly or keep gratitude journals experience higher levels of well-being. WHY? Because when we appreciate something happens.
The word appreciate has two meanings: 1.To be thankful. 2.Increase in value. Assets that appreciates, rise in value…the same is true for life. When we appreciate what is good in our life, our relationship, our business, it appreciates and grows. When you fail to the appreciate what is good, when we strip something of its “properties”, it depreciates in value. Making it less than what it is. When you express gratitude, you take a positive thought of your inquiry to the world, thereby bringing it up in the value hierarchy.
This is why gratitude in study after study comes up as such a powerful tool for bringing higher levels of well-being into our life as well as to the life of others. When you express your gratitude, it is no longer just a thought, but an action with an intrinsic content. So as with many sometimes ”fussy concepts” value science explains in formal terms why gratitude works.