I have long suspected the connection between happiness and gratitude, so six months since I started writing my own daily gratitude's and three months since I set up Six Degrees of Inspiration, a Facebook group where the members can post the six things they're grateful for, I have now found this superb piece of research which completely corresponds with what I think and feel about being grateful;
Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis has been studying gratitude for almost ten years and is considered by many to be the world's leading authority on gratitude. He's the author of the book, "Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier".
The information in this book is based on research involving thousands of people conducted by a number of different researchers around the world. One of the things these studies show is that practicing gratitude can increase happiness levels by around 25%. This is significant, among other things, because just as there's a certain weight that feels natural to your body and which your body strives to maintain, your basic level of happiness is set at a predetermined point.
If something bad happens to you during the day, your happiness can drop momentarily, but then it returns to its natural set-point. Likewise, if something positive happens to you, your level of happiness rises, and then it returns once again to your "happiness set-point". A practice of gratitude raises your "happiness set-point" so you can remain at a higher level of happiness regardless of outside circumstances.
In addition, Dr. Emmons' research shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have a stronger immune system, and have stronger social relationships than those who don't practice gratitude. He further points out that "To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings."
Now if this is the impact of how being grateful can positively affect your life, then it also stands to reason that if you have suffered a significant life change, are unemployed or just been made unemployed being grateful for what you have will help you to bounce back, and that in itself will make you feel less desperate and mean that you will be better able to secure a good job, or even your perfect job quicker than those who are not grateful. So, smile and be grateful for all you have!
_Dionne Lewis-Reid has spent many years working in the Welfare-to-Work sector, and delivering Redundancy (Outplacement/Career Transition) workshops both through Lewis-Reid and Hays the UK's largest Recruitment specialist for various public and private sector companies and organisations. Dionne's work is all about helping people to create or update their CV’s and giving them the skills and confidence to either go back to work, or get the next job if it’s career transition.