The power of gratitude is enormous; this I have learned since starting this blog. I have noticed that while I focus so much energy on what I have to be thankful for, life rewards my with more for which to be thankful.
My mom sent me a great article about the very same idea. A reporter writes about “Thank You Power” and found research to back it up. Some interesting findings:
What I found were well-crafted studies. Respected psychologists had found that better health, greater resilience, improved cognitive skills and the ability to undo stress were real results of gratitude. Two professors in particular, Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, did an experiment that was brilliant in its simplicity. They took three groups of volunteers and randomly assigned them to focus on one of three things for a week: hassles, things for which they were grateful or ordinary life events. The people who focused on gratitude were happier. They reported fewer negative physical symptoms and were active in healthy ways. They spent almost an hour and a half more per week exercising than the people who focused on their hassles. Life was better.
Of course, we all read study after study telling us what we should do to improve our lives. I am a huge skeptic of these, usually trying to figure out who funded the study only moments after reading it. Still, in this case I am believer because I have the experience to back it up.
Life gets better if you focus on the good. For daily reminders of that, I am grateful.
2 responses to “Thank You Power”
Regarding that study, perhaps it is the case that people who are happy already would choose to focus gratitude, whereas unhappy people would choose to focus on the hassles that are making them unhappy? I don’t understand if this study is meant to demonstrate that happy people prefer to focus on gratitude, or that if people focused on gratitude MORE, they would BECOME happy?
I think that because they were assigned to focus on gratitude or hassles, we can assume that it is meant to demonstrate that people who focus on hassles get hassles and people who focus on gratitude feel happier.