• Dr. Allissa Gaul

Gratitude!


I am a paper products addict. I love notebooks and binders and fancy dividers and pens. Preferably there is some amount of gold foiling on my preferred product.

So, imagine my excitement when I found this little gem:

I am in the habit of thinking of things I am grateful for, but I’ve never formally sat down and written it! So I’ve been experimenting and starting my day jotting down my most grateful thoughts. And why would I do that?

Well, here’s a little science for you:

Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life.

Emmons, Robert A.; McCullough, Michael E.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 84(2), Feb 2003, 377-389.

The effect of a grateful outlook on psychological and physical well-being was examined. In Studies 1 and 2, participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions (hassles, gratitude listing, and either neutral life events or social comparison); they then kept weekly (Study 1) or daily (Study 2) records of their moods, coping behaviors, health behaviors, physical symptoms, and overall life appraisals. In a 3rd study, persons with neuromuscular disease were randomly assigned to either the gratitude condition or to a control condition. The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.

So, as you can tell, gratitude can make you better! I am finding that having written down my blessings I am amazed at how many good things are in my life.

Have a blessing in your life? Post it for all of us to see!


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