The Science Behind Gratitude – Being grateful is a choice. Thanksgiving should not just be one day out of the year we all express gratitude, it should be a discipline that we integrate into our everyday lives. Many studies have shown that when we write down a list of things that we are grateful for every single day or night, it has many health benefits that will improve and change our lives for the better. 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.
This particular 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 what they were grateful for. The findings of the study showed 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.
When you imagine, visualize and verbalize your new story, in time you will believe the new story, and when your beliefs match your desires, your desires will become your reality. This is the law of attraction, you have the ability to change your patterns of thought, creating the life you want. When things are going well for you, focusing on what is happening now will cause the good vibrations to continue, but when there are things happening now that you don’t want, you must find a way of taking your attention away from those unwanted things to shift towards the positive to attract more of what you do want.
We are all on a journey to become the best versions of ourselves, the road to living this type of life begins with cultivating a lifestyle of gratitude and mindfulness. When we live life from an attitude of gratitude it allows us to be more present, peaceful, and go with the flow of life more easily. Giving thanks makes us happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.
Being grateful is developing a mindset that no person or outside circumstance will have the ability to get under your skin, and help you create the conditions that you desire to see in your life. Gratitude means being thankful, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life is lacking to the abundance that is already present.
The gratitude journal was made famous by Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book “Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude” You can write first thing in the morning or before going to bed at night, or you can write a gratitude letter to a person who has exerted a positive influence in your life but whom you have not properly thanked. Whatever your preferred method is for expressing gratitude, take some time today, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, to come up with a gratitude list. If it is your first time and you are having a hard time coming up with 3 to 5 thing, don’t let that stop you from still giving thanks. There is still much to be thankful for, cultivating a lifestyle of gratitude will be the best decision you ever make. It is not our job to transform the world for others—but it is our job to transform it for ourselves. A state of appreciation is pure Connection to Source where there is no perception of lack.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” -Albert Einstein
Check out these links below to some great books on this topic:
The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham
Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t
Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires
Manifest Your Destiny: The Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Everything You Want
Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration
The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude
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