It's been a rough month for my family, but lately I've been focused on counting my blessings rather than my trials. I have a lot to be grateful for--family, friends, health, and job security (in a job I love), to name just a few.
I've always felt that actively listing and talking about the good things in my life has had a positive effect. Turns out that researchers at UC Davis have results that support my thoughts on the matter. Here's an excerpt from the AP wire story (as published in the SJ Mercury News):
In one set of observations, college students kept a diary, with some instructed to write about how they felt grateful and others told to concentrate on daily hassles or routine events.
There were fewer illnesses among the "gratitude" group, which also reported exercising more and offering more emotional support to others, Emmons and co-author Michael E. McCullough wrote in the February issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, at which Emmons is a consulting editor.
In another experiment with people with neuromuscular diseases, the researchers found that emphasizing gratefulness improved satisfaction with their lives, as well as their amount and quality of sleep. That study involved observations from the participants and family members.
So, all you bloggers out there...as we welcome in a new year this week, why not write a post about what you're most grateful for? And if your software supports it, trackback to this post so that I can hear about it, too. :)