We all know that impatience undermines our ability to reach goals in the most effective way. But the brain’s motivation-and-reward circuit seeks immediate gratification.
Previous research suggested that business people should suppress emotions because it interferes with decision-making. Yet, a new study published by a team of researchers from Harvard, UC, and Northeastern disagrees. They found that the practice of gratitude “reduces impatience even when real money is at stake.”
The researchers gave participants a choice. They could accept $18 now or wait a year to get $100. If the person reflected on things they were grateful for, they were more likely to wait a year.
Another recent study suggests that gratitude helps us to make different decisions about what we buy. People who place more importance on acquiring material possessions had lower feelings of gratitude and life-satisfaction.
Materialistic people are less happy, and that causes them to buy more stuff – a vicious cycle. Yet, gratitude can reduce materialism and boost happiness.
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Why are materialists less happy? Jo-Ann Tsang, et.al.
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Lower life satisfaction related to materialism in children frequently exposed to advertising.
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