Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Feeling Gratitude

A researcher who has spent his career studying gratitude, Robert Emmons, defines gratitude as "a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life." This definition helps us understand that gratitude is a lot more than saying, "Thank you!" True gratitude is an emotion that underlies everything we do. It is what Paul meant when he told the Ephesians to give "thanks always for all things." Yes, we are to say "Thank you!" but even more we are to feel "Thank you!"

Recent research has shed new light on what the scriptures have told us all along--that people who are grateful are happier, more hopeful, and have more positive emotions. But one finding that surprised me
is that people who are grateful have more energy.

One study asked a control group to daily record five hassles or major events that had occurred to them that day. The other group was asked to record five things for which they were grateful for that day. After only ten days compared to the control group the gratitude group showed more optimism, more satisfaction with their lives, fewer health problems such as headache, coughing or nausea, and they exercised more.

Thinking about what we are grateful for is powerful, but even more benefit comes if we live as grateful people--feel the wonder, feel the appreciation, feel the joy!


Wendi said...

I like that picture. Thank you for the things you share with us in this blog. :)

6L's said...

I am doing this challenge! Thank you for sharing! I always love your insights you share. May you be blessed for blessing others!!