Heath & Wellness

Start the Year with an “Attitude of Gratitude”

January 4, 2011

Most of us have heard the expression “attitude of gratitude.” The idea of being grateful for the good things in life is a simple one.  But as simple as it sounds, gratitude is a demanding and complex emotion that is not easy to cultivate, according to Dr. Robert Emmons, a pioneer in gratitude research at the University of California.

Dr. Emmons’ research has shown that maintaining an attitude of gratitude is good for you.  In fact, an attitude of gratitude can improve your overall health, including your psychological, emotional and physical well-being.   A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that “being grateful forces people to overcome what psychologists call the ‘negativity bias’ – the tendency to dwell on problems, annoyances and injustices rather than upbeat events.”  Focusing on what’s good in your life can also help you ward off depression and deal more effectively with stress.

In his book, 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed my Life, attorney John Kralik tells of how his commitment to writing a thank you note every day for a year truly changed his life.  Kralik focused on the art of the thank you note to cultivate his attitude of gratitude.  What can you do?

The beginning of a new year is a great time to create an attitude of gratitude in your life.  Begin now to create your “attitude of gratitude.”  Why not start by writing a thank you note to each of your best referral sources?  Keep it simple.  – Just a few sentences.  If you need some ideas to get started, check out this article from NPR about Kralik’s book, Perfect Thank You Notes: Heartfelt and Handwritten.

Want more inspiration?  Check out the Attitude of Gratitude Project or become a fan on Facebook. I did.

How grateful are you? Take the WSJ’s “Attitude of Gratitude” self-assessment.

What are you grateful for?  I’d be grateful if you’d leave a comment sharing your thoughts.  Thank you.

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