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.
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?