Remember “the two little magic words?” Please and thank-you? Gratitude has become a much studied state of thought in recent years. Here at Indiana University, researchers are participating in a two-year study (2012-2014) on the impact of gratitude ‘intervention’ in psychotherapy. The potential effects of gratitude on health are the topic of today’s blog by my colleague from Canada,Wendy Margolese, writing for the October 8, 2014 edition of York Region. I’m grateful for Wendy’s article and I think you will be too! Here’s Wendy:
Who would have thought that a simple ’thank you’ is worthy of a scientific study?
Robert Emmons, Ph.D., and professor at the University of California, Davis, has written the first major scientific study on gratitude – its causes, and potential impact on human health. Published findings from his studies have shown that a conscious focus on blessings improved moods, coping skills and overall physical well-being. Emmons says, ‘Gratitude is one of the few things that can measurably heal, energize and change people’s lives. It is a turning of the mind, not what I don’t have, but what I have already.’
As Canadians head into their Thanksgiving holiday, many will gather around a family table and acknowledge their blessings. Still, for many, there will be a ‘but’ after the ‘thank you’. It sounds like this: ‘Thanks, BUT I really need a bigger house, more friends, that promotion,’ etc. Ingratitude blocks the ability to see what we already have. Inspiration from a well-used guidebook in my life asks the question: ‘Are we really grateful for the good already received?’ And follows with the promise: ‘Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.’