Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On gratitude's ability to change your life

Today I'm really thinking a lot about gratitude.

I'm posting my first entry in my online journal. Today's been filled with many reasons to be thankful for the life that I have right now. I wouldn't change a thing, and yet things always change. And that's what this process is all about. As it turns out, studies show that writing my experiences down like this will help me to heal in many ways.

The Change Blog has a similar post on how gratitude can change your life. Here's a clip I wanted to share with you, especially as it relates to what I'm doing here today:

Two psychologists, Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, wrote an article about an experiment they conducted on gratitude and its impact on well-being. The study split several hundred people into three different groups and all of the participants were asked to keep daily diaries.

The first group kept a diary of the events that occurred during the day without being told specifically to write about either good or bad things; the second group was told to record their unpleasant experiences; and the last group was instructed to make a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy. In addition, those in the gratitude group experienced less depression and stress, were more likely to help others, exercised more regularly, and made greater progress toward achieving personal goals.
Sounds good to me. Until next time...

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