Gratefulness; A GREAT Person is FULL of GRATITUDE

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Great People are Grateful People.
As Featured in WE Magazine for Women!

I firmly believe the greatest people I have ever met in my life, are always the most grateful.

Does this describe you?

The grateful person undoubtedly possess one or all of the following qualities I deeply admire: peace, humility and happiness.

A Grateful Person is a Happy and Healthy Person

Research by Dr. Robert Emmons at UC Davis showed adults, youth, children, and even those with medical disabilities benefited in a variety of of ways both mentally and physically from practicing gratitude activities.

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). There was no difference in levels of unpleasant emotions reported in the three groups.
  • 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).

The good news is emotional resilience is not limited to your genetic make up – you CAN improve your attitude and overall well being by taking an active role in reflecting on the many things you can be grateful for.

My Gratitude List Begins with...

What can YOU be grateful for today?

1. Did you get up in a warm house this morning?

It is estimated by the National Alliance to End Homelessness that 2.3 and 3.5 million people experience homelessness in America.

2. Did you have running water to brush your teeth?

The World Commission on Water for the 21st Century, says three billion of the world’s population lives in squalor and misery without access to proper sanitation or clean water.

3. Can you read, write, hear, or speak?

Helen Keller could not read, write, hear or speak – yet she became one of the greatest thought leaders of our time, making the whole world a better place.

Once asked what was worse than being blind, Ms. Keller answered “Being able to see, but not having any vision.”

4. Do you have 2 arms to write and 2 legs to walk?

There are many Wounded Warriors coming home this Thanksgiving and Christmas without limbs protecting the freedom for you and me.

Nick Vujicic has something to say to you about Life without Limbs.

I’ve had the pleasure now to interview over 100 experts and celebrities on The Best People We Know Radio Show - and it never fails – the really great ones are always the most humble and grateful for every blessing they have had the privilege to experience. They are passionate about helping other people be happy.

How grateful are you? Take the Gratitude Quiz.

Count your blessings not your burdens.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Cicero

Deb Scott, BA, CPC

Deb is Author of the THREE time National Award Winning Book The Sky is Green and The Grass is Blue - turning your upside down world right side up!, a Certified Professional Coach at Discover the Amazing YOU! Coaching, and host of the hit new Best People We Know Show! on Blog Talk Radio. Self Help Radio

Simple Steps to Stop Suffering Now!  Now available on Kindle.

Sign up for Debs “Mind Vitamins” Newsletter today!

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  • http://jessiejeanine.com Jessie Jeanine

    Great article Deb! I especially appreciate your basic list of the 4 things (reminders) of what we should be grateful for ~ they seem so simple and basic yet, too many of us take even these things for granted. If you think about it, many times these small blessings mean even more than the great ones! I have written a short poem called The Simplicity of Gratitude (http://wp.me/p1ZRtx-9j) which you might enjoy expressing a some of these ideas.

    I’m grateful to have found your site(s) and am enjoying learning more about you and what you stand for. Happy Holidays!

  • http://www.janrmiesse.com Jan R. Miesse

    Love it Deb. Well said.. and there is merit in realizing how fortunate we are!… Always grateful. Spread the joy. bloom!.. Jan http://www.janrmiesse.com Bloom Girl Bloom (Real Women with Real Answers) now available.

  • http://www.SumnerDavenport.com Sumner M Davenport

    Hi Deb,

    I love much of your post, however after a lengthy research prior to publishing my book on gratitude and as I work with countless people on self esteem issues, a portion of your post is my least favorite.

    When we compare ourselves to others misfortune as a way to feel gratitude, research has shown it hurts us.

    In one study during Dr. Robert A. Emmons research in the psychology of gratitude, the participants were asked to list what they were grateful for compared to what they weren’t happy about in their lives. In another study they were asked to list what they were grateful for where thought they were better off than others.

    The results showed that those who expressed gratitude without comparing themselves as “better than” were significantly happier than those making comparisons between themselves and others.

    From another study at USC on self esteem:
    “A dangerous silent damage to your feelings of self worth is created and intensified when you compare yourself to being better off or more successful, or more of anything than someone else. By practicing the habit of comparison when you are feeling happy with yourself or your life, you are establishing the foundation for feelings of lack of self worth when you don’t measure up to any comparison in the future. The inherent problem with this habit is that then takes considerably more effort to repair your feeling of lack which can contribute to difficulty in regaining levels of success in chosen areas of your life. A person who can see their unique qualities, success and strengths without the need to compare themselves to anyone other than themselves are found to be emotionally stronger when facing difficult decisions and occurrences.”

    I like to suggest that people look to when they didn’t have something and be grateful to themselves that they now have opened themselves to receive; to remember when they were ill or injured and now feel gratitude because they are feeling well or recovering; remembering a challenging time that stopped them in their tracks, and now feel grateful that they recognized their own strength.

    Compare yourself only to yourself and be grateful and see how amazing unique and beautiful you are.

    Wishing you the ecstasy of life through gratitude.

  • http://www.wellnesswithkate.com kate hawkes

    A wonderful post Deb. (I just found it on twitter). I think there is a tendency, generally encouraged in this culture, to feel like we are stuck with our ‘feelings’ and are at the mercy of other people, things, events. That fosters a victim/helpless/poor me mentality and with that comes resentment, anxiety and general depression! And yes! we can change that, we can choose to see ourselves as greater, freer and more powerful than that experience. Gratitude as a way of seeing the world, for me goes hand in hand with creativity. When you create something, engage in the arts, share that with others – then you are in touch with your deeper soul-self – and there is gratitude! You know you are alive, connected to a great power and you know that LIFE is the ultimate gift we have. My new book Personal Magic offers ways in which people can connect to that place through the arts. And it spreads out everywhere! When I get up at 6am in the dark and go feed my horse and pick up the poop I am grateful to see her muddy coat, hear her welcome the hay and feel the sun come up on my face. In my work I am grateful everyday for the people with whom I work/play who give me so much through their ‘stories’. We are lucky to facilitate that kind of Joy with others, as I know you do!

  • http://makingbizfun.com Nora Whalen

    Hi Deb!

    I couldn’t agree more. I encourage my clients to keep a separate business gratitude journal (http://tinyurl.com/78yfcxl) in addition to their personal gratitude journal. It immediately starts making a difference, which we both love.

    Thank you so much for the great reminder!