Muchas Gracias

It’s Research Wednesday! Where I share the latest, or most fascinating, in the science of friendship.

“Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy, or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.” (“Thank You. No, Thank You,” Wall Street Journal, 11/23/2010)

Given the aforementioned research, it seems that gratitude is a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg phenomenon. Do people feel more grateful because they have energy, optimism and social connections, or do they have such fortune because they are so grateful?

A little bit of both, I’m sure. For today, let’s focus on the notion of attracting friendship and happiness by simply being grateful.

I certainly believe it. Who wants to be friends with the Debbie Downer who’s always talking about how much her life sucks? Not I.

My new BFF doesn’t need to spend her days gushing over how lucky she is to lead a charmed life. That might just get annoying. But a healthy awareness of what’s going well is refreshing. We live in such a complaint culture (guilty as charged!), so it’s refreshing to meet a friend who’s not constantly feeling resentful or pissy.

I can’t believe I’m about to write this, because I know it sounds totally sappy, and I’m not one to tout the Law of Attraction. But if you’re on a BFF search, now seems like a pretty good time to start flexing the gratitude muscle. Start at the Thanksgiving table, and see if you can bring the practice into your everyday life. Once you start saying thank you for the things you do have, maybe the things you don’t (a local bestie?) will fall into place. If not, at least you’ll sleep better, get richer, and lay off the sauce.

I’ll start.

Today I am grateful for yesterday’s good fortune: getting to hold my new baby cousin, pounding out another thousand words of my book, and eating a delish Chipotle dinner with two improv friends.

Most importantly, today and everyday I am grateful to you all for coming back to this blog, supporting my search for a new BFF, and sharing your stories. It really does mean so much to me. THANK YOU.

Have a wonderful holiday and long weekend, and I’ll see you after I’ve emerged from my tryptophan-induced slumber.

What are you grateful for this year? Anything BFF-specific?

15 Comments

Filed under The Search

15 responses to “Muchas Gracias

  1. JenD

    I’m grateful for all that I have, even if it wouldn’t make too many people jealous!

    Rachel, here’s a thought for another blog: what do you do when a BFF turns into a Debbie Downer or a Cynical Sally and just becomes a total drag to be around no matter what we do to try to help?

  2. I am grateful for more this year than I ever have been in my life. I don’t know what I did to deserve all the amazing opportunities I have coming to me this year, but I am going to try and freeze frame this moment in my memory box as a time when everything was magical for me.
    I am marrying my best friend in 6 mos on the beach in the Caribbean, my family and friends are so good to me, I am starting an amazing job in a week, I live in an incredible city with so much opportunity at my fingertips, and I get to bring a kitty into my life because my landlord happened to have a change of heart on his “no pets” policy. And that is just the big stuff!
    Every day I try to remember that there are ups and downs and for every “up” there will be tough times. It is important to ride the wave of bliss when it comes, because it is these times in our lives that will help us pull through the difficult periods.
    Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

    • Lorrie Paige

      Wow! That’s all so awesome Leanne!

      It’s so wonderful when your spouse is also your BFF! Perfect.

      I’m glad your year is fabulous! May you have many more.

  3. Lorrie Paige

    I’m grateful for the clubs and classes I’ve joined this year. As a result, I’ve made awesome acquaintances and mostly likely will have some official friends by the end of the year!🙂

  4. Suzannah

    Rachel-
    This research topic rings so true…tomorrow I am taking my 4 kids to help serve Thanksgiving dinner at Houston’s Super Feast…for this exact reason…Gratitude….when I think of things I am blessed by in 2010, your blog pops right in my mind..as I reflex on myself as a friend, each of your posts have offered new insight…really have learned a lot about myself through your writing,…..I can absolutely say no one else has touched my life in that way…so my prayer is the Lord makes each our hearts truly grateful this Thanksgiving…

  5. Happy Thanksgiving Rachel. Enjoy your holiday. And I am grateful for so much everyday, especially those friends that have cheered me on and embraced me when I needed it the most.

  6. Pingback: Maybe the Geico Piggy Got It Right « Soul Ballast

  7. I’m grateful to have enjoyed such a low cal dinner with you! (I recalculated: 250 calories and only four points!) Have a wonderful trip home.

  8. Hi Rachel –
    I totally get this, but one of the things that I am most grateful for also makes it incredibly difficult to find a BFF – my children.
    With two active kids and a full time job, I honestly don’t know how to find the time to look for/nurture a friendship. Plus, we had our children when we were very young so all of the potential BFFs I meet through my kids are quite a bit older than me – or the ones that are my age have toddlers (no thanks to THAT age again).
    Anyway – I’m glad I found your blog and I hope we both find a great local gal soon.

    • Lorrie Paige

      Whenever you get some time Jenny, you might want to try Meetup groups. At least where I live in Portland, there are many mommy and kids Meetups.

  9. I feel truly grateful to have stumbled upon this blog because the posts and the readers’ comments have really taught me a lot about friendships, their evolution, and sometimes their endings. I appreciate everyone’s willingness to share both painful and joyful memories (and the funny stories are awesome, too.)

    As the new gal in town, I feel a little less overwhelmed and definitely more hopeful (and certainly very excited, too!).

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