Term papers writing service


The practice of gratitude in positive psychology physical and emotional domains of our daily lives

Read part two here. Most people want to be happy. It is a desire that transcends age, culture, geographical location, political belief, religion, and life experience. And it is not an irrational desire. Relative to their less happy counterparts, happy people have stronger relationships, higher incomes, and superior physical and mental health.

The practice of gratitude in positive psychology physical and emotional domains of our daily lives

Over the past several decades, a large and growing body of research has been probing the science of happiness, or well-being, as scientists work to uncover the determinants and outcomes of happiness—and, importantly, how to increase it. Several key findings have emerged.

  • The results provide conclusive proof of the effectiveness of a modest exercise program for individuals that suffer from a major depressive disorder;
  • Pastoral Psychology, 50 3 , 191-195.

First, the research is clear: The research is clear: Emerging research suggests that even the simple instruction to behave in more extraverted e. If these activities sound familiar to you, it is probably because viral popular media pieces, numerous trade books, and a burgeoning industry of well-being coaches constantly promote and disseminate these positive practices as people around the world seek to incorporate them into their daily lives.

  • So we know that engaging in positive activities can make people happier, but are there circumstances under which they may actually produce unhappiness?
  • First, the research is clear:

Furthermore, we now know quite a bit about the how and why behind the success of these positive activities. Notably, such practices are also likely to satisfy our basic psychological needswhich psychologists have assembled into three buckets: For example, research suggests that expressing gratitude to a family member increases well-being by promoting feelings of social connection, and that practicing optimism increases well-being by helping people perceive their daily experiences as more satisfying.

  • Conversely, it has been suggested that prayer does not contribute towards wellbeing and prayer frequency is a poor predictor of happiness and functioning Masters, 2007; Rosmarin 2009;
  • Similarly, Levin and Chatters 1998 found a positive association between religiosity and subjective health, and a negative link with physical symptomatology and dementia;
  • Over the past several decades, a large and growing body of research has been probing the science of happiness, or well-being, as scientists work to uncover the determinants and outcomes of happiness—and, importantly, how to increase it.

Research suggests that practices like savoring, kindness, and gratitude generate well-being by leading people to experience more frequent pleasant emotions, think more positive thoughts, and engage in more productive behaviors.

Of course, like any medical or behavioral intervention, not all happiness-boosting strategies will work equally well for different users. Whether or not the pursuit of happiness is successful is influenced by aspects of the activity, such as how often it is performed and its variety—how much it varies from week to week. Their success is also influenced by characteristics of the happiness seeker, such as how unhappy she is to begin with and how invested she is in becoming happier.

One studyfor example, revealed that men and women who were at least moderately motivated to pursue happiness benefited relatively more from a happiness intervention. So we know that engaging in positive activities can make people happier, but are there circumstances under which they may actually produce unhappiness?

You are here

Interestingly, research suggests that, under certain conditions, the happiness-boosting strategies described above may not just fail to increase happiness but may actively backfire. In what contexts might performing a kind act for a friend cause someone to feel paradoxically less socially connected? When might thanking a friend or colleague lead someone to experience more resentment, frustration, or anxiety, rather than less?

In our follow-up piece next week, we will explore when and why positive activities may cause unhappiness.

How and Why Positive Activities Can Make You Happier