Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Power of Gratitude

Another Thanksgiving is less than a week away. As I pondered the meaning of the holiday, I asked myself what makes gratitude so powerful? Giving thanks is so important that we made it a national holiday. Every religion emphasizes the importance of gratitude and every language has a linguistic equivalent for the word gratitude. So I did a little research on gratitude. Here's what I found.

From a study entitled "Gratitude & Happiness: Development of a Measure of Gratitude & Relationships with Subjective Well-Being", published in Social Behavior and Personality in 2003, the researchers found that gratitude is a highly developed trait and ranks in the top 4% in terms of likable traits. It improves mood and naturally occurs as a result of happiness. Being grateful is important to living the good life and increasing a sense of well-being. Grateful people have a sense of abundance, simple appreciation, and appreciation of others.

A University of Miami study found that gratitude is integral to health, wholeness, and well-being. It increases optimism, decreases physical symptoms, aids in personal goal attainment, increases a feeling of connection with others, and improves sleep. People who practice gratitude are more likely to help someone with a personal problem or offer emotional support. They are more empathic and take the perspective of others. They place less importance on material things. Generosity, sharing, commitment and responsibility to others are natural outcomes of being grateful. The study also indicates that faith enhances the ability to be grateful.

Wow! Gratitude is powerful medicine and when we have faith, especially in ourselves, gratitude naturally increases. From an energetic or spiritual perspective, the more you are grateful for something, the more the universe brings similar opportunities to you. It simply follows the Law of Attraction.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? What do you choose to attract more of at this time of year? As the song goes, "I've got plenty to be thankful for."

Joan Cerio - Keeper of the Keys to a Masterful Life
Life Lines - Publishing high vibrational words that serve as "lifelines" for self-transformation.

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