by Jaqueline Marie – Staff Writer

“Thanks are the highest form of thought;
gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
~G.K. Chesterton.

The simple act of being thankful has the power to transform our lives.  U.C. Davis professor Robert Emmons is the world’s leading authority on the study of gratitude. Since beginning his research in the early 1990’s, Professor Emmons has conducted numerous experiments with remarkable results.

Through his research Emmons has found that individuals who record their reasons for giving thanks in a gratitude journal on a daily basis feel more loving, forgiving, joyful, enthusiastic, healthy and optimistic.

Summary of Findings:

    • In an experimental comparison, 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).
    • A related benefit was observed in the realm of personal goal attainment: 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 intervention (self-guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others).
    • Participants in the daily gratitude condition were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or having offered emotional support to another, relative to the hassles or social comparison condition.
    • In a sample of adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention resulted in 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.
    • Children who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and their families (Froh, Sefick, & Emmons, 2008).

Metaphysics emphasizes the importance of gratitude. According to Barbara Y. Martin, an internationally recognized clairvoyant and author who has taught metaphysics for over 40 years , gratitude shows up in the aura as a beautiful pink light in the solar plexus area concurrent with the emotional nature. It also can also show up as brilliant gold light in the Hermetic center (heart chakra), showing the confidence and outgoing nature gratitude can bring.

Dimitri Moraitis, co-founder of Spiritual Arts Institute, explains that sometimes we get so self absorbed in our problems and concerns, we forget there is a greater power working with us at all times. Expressing gratitude has the power to lift us out of those detrimental patterns that can paralyze us from taking action.

Take a moment today and write down all the things you’re grateful for, big and small. Reminder: There is always something to be grateful for.

Robert Emmons website: I Am Thankful 
Get started today with a free Online Gratitude Journal

 Source: Robbert Emmons
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