Attitude of Gratitude
What quality of the heart is most linked to well-being? Gratitude. Psychologist Robert Emmons finds that grateful people “feel more loving, forgiving, joyful, enthusiastic and optimistic about their futures, while their family and friends report that they seem happier and are more pleasant to be around.” Grateful people not only like their lives more but also get more exercise and complain less about health issues. Sonja Lyubomirsky reports that grateful people have better relationships, better coping, more kindness, and more confidence. Psychologists have even found that grateful people sleep better. Unfortunately, feeling grateful doesn’t come automatically.
In fact, psychologists find that much of our conscious attention goes toward handling problems and looking out for our own safety. Our conscious minds get caught up with the thorns of life even when many good things are actually going on.
In order to feel gratitude, we need to metaphorically “take time to smell the roses.” We can “take time to smell the roses” by keeping a gratitude journal. In a gratitude journal, people make daily entries about three good things that have happened and give reasons why those things happened. Experimental evidence shows that keeping a gratitude journal adds to quality of life.
These findings fit with Cicero’s declaration that “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all the others” and fits with the slogan, “Gratitude is the best attitude.”
This message was a Dial-A-Humanist message by Derrick S.