“You simply will not be the same person two months from now
after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life.
And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have
and are grateful for, the more will be given you.”
– Sarah Ban Breathnach,
Here’s what Gratitude can do for you.
Gratitude is the “forgotten factor” in happiness research according to a long-term research project called “Dimensions and Perspectives of Gratitude” done by Co-Investigators: Robert A. Emmons, University of California and Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami.
Scientists are only beginning to research the concept of gratitude. Yet, religions and philosophies have long embraced gratitude as an integral component of health, wholeness, and well-being. It’s refreshing to see research being carried out on such a potentially beneficial and easy to implement process.
Some of the findings from the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness included:
- Those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).
- Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions.
- A daily gratitude practise with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy.
- In a 21-day gratitude process involving adults with neuromuscular disease, results included greater amounts of high energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality, relative to a control group.
- Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. They do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life. They tend to place less importance on material goods and are more likely to be generous.