The Power of Gratitude

A Precept of the Reiki Ideals

Since learning Reiki 20 years ago I have been focused on the precepts written by Mikao Usui. One of which is “Be Grateful”. I noticed that when I focused on this precept during my day it had a wonderful effect on my mood and behavior. Simple things like saying “thank you” to others and really focusing on what I was saying and to whom. Looking for things through my day I was grateful for, starting and ending my day with a practice of replaying at least 3 events I was grateful for as my day started and ended. These simple changes in focus made my days calmer and happier. I noticed that I loved how gratitude made me feel. I noticed that I was less interested in judgement and felt more loving towards situations, even ones I did not really like. I started wondering if there was a science behind this type of living and discovered that indeed there were hundreds of research studies that showed how I was feeling was not unusual and indeed is what would happen for even the most pessimistic person when they focused on gratitude in their life.

I found a Harvard researcher named Shawn Achor who has written several books on the subject related to numerous studies he has done over the past 20 years on this subject. I realized that this principle of Reiki, which is now 100 years old is now a researched fact and a “treasure” to developing a loving, kind and peaceful life.

I recommend you try some of the “keys to inner peace and happiness” and see for yourself.

Here are 7 scientifically proven benefits of GRATITUDE:

  1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. So whether you thank a stranger for holding the door or send a thank-you note to that colleague who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities. As you pass on gratitude to others you will find it brings a sense of happiness to you.
  2. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.
  3. Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
  4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a positive manner, even when others behave less kindly, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.
  5. Grateful people sleep better. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
  6. Gratitude improves self-esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs—a major factor in reduced self-esteem—grateful people can appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
  7. Gratitude increases mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major help in reaching a place of resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11.

I hope you try a daily practice of gratitude. I can promise you it will make you happier and bring you many moments of blessings. Thank you Mikao Usui for your wisdom in bringing this precept to millions of Reiki Practitioners around the world. I am so GRATEFUL.

To learn more, we invite you to call Reiki Orange County at (949) 370-7592 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation today.