Article contributed by guest author, Barb Schroeder, Creative Renewal presenter.
Dr. Robert Emmons, psychology professor at UC Davis, is considered a scientific expert on gratitude, and he defines gratitude as having two features:
What exactly is Gratitude? It is wonder, appreciation, looking on the bright side, thanking someone, being aware of abundance, thanking a higher being, counting your blessings, savoring (not rushing forward) and not taking things for granted.
There are some clear benefits to being grateful:
Dr. Emmons recommends a few practices to bring more gratefulness into our lives.
So as we begin today; perhaps we can try one or more of these practices, "experiencing each day as a sacred gift, woven around a heart of wonder...awakening to the mystery of being here."
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Emmons, RA (2013). Gratitude Works: a 21 day program for creating emotional prosperity. Jossey-Bass Publishing
Kernion, AK (2016), A Year of Spiritual Companionship: 52 weeks for a life of gratitude, balance and Happiness. Skylight Paths Publishing.
Ryan, MJ (2011), Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy every day of your life. Red Wheel/Weiser Publishing.
Sood, A (2013), The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living. Da Capo Lifelong Books.
Sood, A (2015), The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness. Da Capo Lifelong Books.
“If the only prayer you said was thank you that would be enough.” ― Meister Eckhart
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” ― William Arthur Ward