Nov 23, 201503:24 PMThe Gray Area
with Donna Gray
Things to be grateful for
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Gratitude engages one’s heart. It’s the most powerful when it becomes an approach to daily routine. It becomes especially important in the United States in November as Thanksgiving Day approaches and folks begin thinking of all the things for which they are grateful.
Everyone has moments of gratefulness in life, such as when one receives a special gift, a job promotion, or an honors celebration. Research shows that focusing on even the little things that make us happy on a daily basis can heighten one’s quality of life.
Scientists say that gratitude can make one happier and healthier. Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis and Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University conducted a study on gratitude and reported daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy, as well as less stress and depression. The study showed subjects who wrote down one thing they were grateful for every day reported being 25% happier for a full six months after following this practice for just three weeks.
Gratefulness works all year ’round, folks just tend to think about it more in November. An article from Real Simple magazine quotes Dr. Emmons as saying, “There is a magnetic appeal to gratitude. It speaks to a need that’s deeply entrenched.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude, said, “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.”