An Attitude of Gratitude: Why it Matters
Positive psychology is a relatively new area of study that is developing quickly and is contributing significantly to a strengths-based approach to counselling. A classification of 24 character strengths, such as optimism, fairness, hope, forgiveness, and integrity, offers a framework that enables clients to identify their owned strengths and feel greater life satisfaction by further developing and using these identified strengths in their daily lives. This session will review some of the most recent research on the topic of gratitude as one of these character strengths. Gratitude is experienced in different ways and these are identified. Several noteworthy studies have focussed on the positive emotion of gratitude and have indicated that experiencing and expressing gratitude result in enhancing a person's subjective well-being. Practical suggestions for increasing gratitude will be provided. Participants will hear how completing written exercises and additional simple tasks that focus on gratitude can have an uplifting effect on their levels of happiness.
Keywords: Gratitude, Happiness, Subjective Well-Being, Character Strengths, Positive Psychology
Dr. Heather Higgins
Assistant Professor, School of Education, Acadia University