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This also means that we get use to the bad things that happen to us.
Put more simply, we get use to the good things that happen to us.
I expect this to change – because of my compassion and gratitude practices I am starting to have spontaneous urges to help others.
This is because the very nature of gratitude is to focus on others (on acts of benevolence).
That can work, but it can also make us narcissistic or even back-fire and lower self-esteem. Despite your asking and pleading, no one helps you.
Now imagine a world where many people help you all of the time for no other reason than that they like you.
In fact, some recent science shows just that – those who engage in gratitude practices have been shown to feel less pain, go to the doctor less often, have lower blood pressure, and be less likely to develop a mental disorder. think of it as a reflection of my personality, it comes out naturally 🙂 The research for this post took an extremely long time (~25-30 hours), but because I’m such a nerd, that was fun and just replaced my usual reading time.
If we perceive our current life to have more good, we will also believe our future life to have more good.
Optimism is correlated with gratitude because those with an optimistic disposition are biologically more likely to focus on the good (gratitude) than on the bad (personal disappointment, anxiety, etc…). The problem with materialism is that it makes people feel less competent, reduces feelings of relatedness and gratitude, reduces their ability to appreciate and enjoy the good in life, generates negative emotions, and makes them more self-centered.
In this regard, gratitude practice can be better than self-esteem therapy.
Self-esteem therapy focuses the individual back on themselves: I’m smart, I look good, I can succeed, etc….