Dr. Robert Emmons is an advocate to practice gratitude and thanks. Dr. Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology at UC Davis has research data that proves practicing daily gratitude improves health. He has now published his research data in books titled Thanks! and Gratitude Works!
Dr. Emmons asked 300 people to keep a journal asking three groups to do three different things:
- Group A Write down the things they were grateful for
- Group B Write down what annoyed them
- Group C Write down whatever popped into their mind
At the completion of his study, group B who wrote down what annoyed them, and group C who wrote down whatever popped into their minds were exceeded by Group A (those who wrote down thing they were grateful for) in five areas of health:
- Higher Level of Well Being and Energy
- Made More Progress Toward Important Personal Goals
- More Positive Attitude
- Slept Better
- Exercised More
Wow, after looking at that fabulous list, it is motivation to attain and maintain a state of gratitude! Daily gratitude using the simple phrase, “Thank you!” is now being proven to be a powerful tool.
Practice Gratitude by Writing A Letter of Thanks
Then they challenged Group A to write a letter of thanks to someone who gave them something. After they expressed gratitude, they recorded their experience, how it felt to express thanks, in their journals. Writing down what you are grateful for is a wonderful exercise; however, it can be heightened with a bit more effort by doing one more step: Verbally expressing gratitude to someone and writing down how that made you feel. Many reported they felt more connected to others, and it was no surprise that everyone loved hearing the words, “Thank You”!
Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstance; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.