The excitement is building around the big cash prize in the Multi Million Mega Bucks Lotto. And jeez… who couldn’t use a bit of extra cash… Like half a billion extra buckaroos?
We all dream of what life would be like if only….. (fill in the blank).
Yet, unless you are one of the lucky few who win the big jackpot, more than likely your joy in life will arrive in a different package. And it cannot hurt to look at what is already there. Studies have shown that by focusing on our blessings we actually attract more of what we want to attract in life. Here are the findings from one such study (UC Davis/Emmons Lab):
- 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).
IF you win tonight… WooHoo and congratulations. If you don’t, then try and take stock and look at what is in your life that you are really grateful for. Maybe it is a spouse, a dog, a special toothbrush, a pair of polkadot panties, or the fact that you didn’t burn yourself on the coffee this morning! Whatever it may be – spending a bit of time in gratitude may be a good investment in YOU!
You know… investing in gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving. What are you thankful for right now?