Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Am Grateful.

Robert Emmons, author of the book Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, has spent a lot of his career researching the connection between being grateful and your health. In this book, Eammons describes a series of studies performed to study this correlation.
In each of the studies, certain groups were asked to keep a journal. In that journal, each day they would either right 5 things they are grateful for, 5 things that were a hassle that day, or 5 things that happened that day. Here are some of the interesting conclustions:
- People using daily gratitude journals reported more satisfaction with their lives and were more optimistic about the future than the control group.
- the gratitude group reported getting more sleep, spending less time awake before falling asleep and feeling more refreshed in the morning.
- researchers at the University of Connecticut found that gratitude can have a protective effect against heart attacks. Studying people who had experienced one heart attack, the researchers found that those patients who saw benefits and gains from their heart attack, such as becoming more appreciative of life, experienced a lower risk of having another heart attack.
- Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular physical examinations
- Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress
- Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system
Summarizing the findings from studies to date, Emmons says that those who practice grateful thinking “reap emotional, physical and interpersonal benefits." People who regularly keep a gratitude journal report fewer illness symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and are more optimistic about the future.
Here are a few of the things on my gratitude list:
~a body that can exercise
~the gospel of Jesus Christ
~a warm home
~broccoli & eggs
~an education
~a job I love
~the mountains
~the capacity to heal
~fresh produce (including broccoli)
~a cute nephew
~running water
What are you grateful for?
Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Thanks for this great post, Trisha! I am grateful for you! You are such a great example of positive thinking and seeing the good in everything.


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