16 new entries added to the power of gratitude, that include pictures. 1. Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

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THE POWER OF GRATITUDE

Studies Show That People Who Regularly Practice Giving Thanks Are Happier

Studies have shown that those who regularly choose to have an attitude of gratitude are much more healthy.
3
<div>What if there was a solution to stress so simple that it involved nothing more than feeling thankful for the good things in your life? In fact, there is. That solution is called gratitude.</div><div><br></div><div>Studies have shown that people who regularly practice feeling thankful have a leg up when it comes to their health. Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California at Davis, has been a leading researcher in this growing field, termed “positive psychology.” His research has found that those who adopt an “attitude of gratitude” as a permanent state of mind experience many health benefits.</div><div><br></div><div>Emmons’ findings, along with those from other researchers such as Lisa Aspinwall, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, suggest that grateful people may be more likely to:</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>take better care of themselves physically and mentally</li><li>engage in more protective health behaviors and maintenance</li><li>get more regular exercise</li><li>eat a healthier diet</li><li>have improved mental alertness</li><li>schedule regular physical examinations with their doctor</li><li>cope better with stress and daily challenges</li><li>feel happier and more optimistic</li><li>avoid problematic physical symptoms</li><li>have stronger immune systems</li><li>maintain a brighter view of the future</li><li>With that list of benefits, who wouldn’t want to try it? To get started giving thanks, consider integrating some of the steps below into your daily life.</li></ul></div><div><br></div><div><b>Focus Attention Outward</b></div><div>Your attitude plays a large role in determining whether you can feel grateful in spite of life’s challenges. According to Emmons, gratitude is defined by your attitude towards both the outside world and yourself. He suggests that those who are more aware of the positives in their lives tend to focus their attention outside of themselves.</div><div><br></div><div><b>Be Mindful of What You Have</b></div><div>You may assume that those with more material possessions have more to be grateful for. However, research suggests otherwise. Edward Diener, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, found that a high percentage of affluent people in Japan report low levels of life satisfaction, just as those living in poverty in India do. These findings suggest that it’s not how much you have, but how you feel about what you have that makes the difference.</div><div><br></div><div><b>Keep a Gratitude Journal</b></div><div>Recording what you feel grateful for in a journal is a great way to give thanks on a regular basis. Emmons found that those who listed five things they felt grateful for in a weekly gratitude journal reported fewer health problems and greater optimism than those who didn’t. A second study suggests that daily writing led to a greater increase in gratitude than weekly writing.</div><div><br></div><div><b>Reframe Situations as Positive</b></div><div>It’s not actually a challenging situation that is upsetting. It’s how you perceive the situation. The next time you find yourself complaining about life’s hassles, see if you can mentally “flip the switch” to frame things differently. For example, rather than getting down about missing an opportunity, try to see the positive side. You might now have more time to direct towards other priorities.</div>
<div>What if there was a solution to stress so simple that it involved nothing more than feeling thankful for the good things in your life? In fact, there is. That solution is called gratitude.</div><div><br></ div><div>Studies have shown that people who regularly practice feeling thankful have a leg up when it comes to their health. Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California at Davis, has been a leading researcher in this growing field, termed “positive psychology.” His research has found that those who adopt an “attitude of gratitude” as a permanent state of mind experience many health benefits.</div><div><br></d iv><div>Emmons’ findings, along with those from other researchers such as Lisa Aspinwall, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, suggest that grateful people may be more likely to:</div><div><br></div> <div><ul><li>take better care of themselves physically and mentally</li><li>engage in more protective health behaviors and maintenance</li><li>get more regular exercise</li><li>eat a healthier diet</li><li>have improved mental alertness</li><li>schedule regular physical examinations with their doctor</li><li>cope better with stress and daily challenges</li><li>feel happier and more optimistic</li><li>avoid problematic physical symptoms</li><li>have stronger immune systems</li><li>maintain a brighter view of the future</li><li>With that list of benefits, who wouldn’t want to try it? To get started giving thanks, consider integrating some of the steps below into your daily life.</li></ul></div><div&g t;<br></div><div><b>Focu s Attention Outward</b></div><div>Your attitude plays a large role in determining whether you can feel grateful in spite of life’s challenges. According to Emmons, gratitude is defined by your attitude towards both the outside world and yourself. He suggests that those who are more aware of the positives in their lives tend to focus their attention outside of themselves.</div><div><br>< /div><div><b>Be Mindful of What You Have</b></div><div>You may assume that those with more material possessions have more to be grateful for. However, research suggests otherwise. Edward Diener, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, found that a high percentage of affluent people in Japan report low levels of life satisfaction, just as those living in poverty in India do. These findings suggest that it’s not how much you have, but how you feel about what you have that makes the difference.</div><div><br>< /div><div><b>Keep a Gratitude Journal</b></div><div>Recordin g what you feel grateful for in a journal is a great way to give thanks on a regular basis. Emmons found that those who listed five things they felt grateful for in a weekly gratitude journal reported fewer health problems and greater optimism than those who didn’t. A second study suggests that daily writing led to a greater increase in gratitude than weekly writing.</div><div><br></di v><div><b>Reframe Situations as Positive</b></div><div>It&acir c;€™s not actually a challenging situation that is upsetting. It’s how you perceive the situation. The next time you find yourself complaining about life’s hassles, see if you can mentally “flip the switch” to frame things differently. For example, rather than getting down about missing an opportunity, try to see the positive side. You might now have more time to direct towards other priorities.</div>
Robin Madell
Inspirational Personal Development 

Why You Should Always Say Thank You: It's Not Just Good Manners - The Two Words Helps Maintain Relationships, Study Claims

A new study investigates the power of saying 'thank you' to strangers.
11
<div><ul><li>68 per cent who had received a 'thank you' note also left a note in return</li><li>Those who said 'thank you' were seen as having a 'warmer' personality</li><li>The study claims that saying 'thank you' starts new friendships, reminds people of their existing social bonds and maintains older relationships&nbsp;</li></ul></div><div><br></div><div><div>Most of us were taught that saying 'thank you' is simply the polite thing to do.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>But recent research in social psychology suggests that saying 'thank you' goes beyond good manners  it also serves to build and maintain social relationships.</div><div><br></div><div>The research specifically looked at how do expressions of gratitude among strangers shape social relations? Might hearing 'thank you' help us 'find' new social relationships?</div><div><br></div><div><b>Most of us were taught that saying 'thank you' is simply the polite thing to do. But research suggests that saying 'thank you' goes beyond good manners � it also serves to build and maintain social relationship</b></div><div><br></div><div>It was based on the find-remind-and-bind theory of gratitude, proposed by US psychologist Sara Algoe, from the University of North Carolina.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>According to this theory, gratitude starts new friendships (find), orients people to existing social relationships (remind) and promotes existing relationships (bind).</div><div><br></div><div>My colleague Monica Bartlett, from Gonzaga University in Washington and I carried out the first empirical test of the 'find' function of expressing gratitude among strangers.</div><div><br></div><div>In the study, we sought to create a situation in the lab where we could manipulate the expression of gratitude in a realistic way.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>So we asked our 70 undergraduate participants to help pilot a new mentoring programme supposedly run by the university.</div><div><br></div><div><img src="http://www.thankyounotes.org/img/pics/201504_1628_bbbfg.jpg" width="634" height="421"></div><div><div><b>For half of the participants  those in the control condition - this note simply acknowledged the advice. Critically, for the other half of the participants, the note also included an expression of gratitude</b></div><div><b><br></b></div><div>As part of the pilot, all of our participants were to act as mentors by giving advice on a writing sample from a high-school student mentee.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>The writing sample was one that the mentee planned to use in their university admissions package.</div><div><br></div><div>This setup ensured that we satisfied one of the core starting points of gratitude  the granting of help, resources or a favour.</div><div><br></div><div>A week later, we brought the participants back to the lab. All participants received a note purportedly written by the high school mentee.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>For half of the participants  those in the control condition - this note simply acknowledged the advice.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Critically, for the other half of the participants, the note also included an expression of gratitude. &nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Participants next completed a series of questionnaires assessing their impressions of the mentee, and then were informed that the study was complete.</div><div><br></div><div>Except, that wasn't quite true. The researcher casually mentioned that the pilot program organisers had left a set of notecards for mentors to complete if they chose to.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>The programme organisers would ensure that the mentee received the note if the mentee were accepted to the university.</div><div><br></div><div><img src="http://www.thankyounotes.org/img/pics/201504_1629_cddbi.jpg" width="634" height="422"></div><div><div><b>Study claims saying thank you starts new friendships, reminds us of bonds and maintains older relationships</b></div><div><br></div><div><div>The researcher made it clear that leaving a note was completely optional and then left the room. Participants were left alone to decide whether to write a note, and, if so, what to say.</div><div><br></div><div>This note-writing opportunity served as our dependent measure of actual social affiliation.</div><div><br></div><div>Would participants take the opportunity to establish a social relationship with their mentee? Would this depend on whether the mentee had expressed gratitude?&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Perhaps not surprisingly, all but three participants wrote a welcome note. Promisingly for the 'find' hypothesis, all three participants who didn't leave a note were in the control condition.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>To test the 'find' hypothesis more directly, we coded what participants wrote in those notes and a pattern quickly became clear.</div><div><br></div><div>Of the participants who had received a note expressing gratitude from their mentee, 68 per cent left their contact details in their note.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Only 42 per cent of those who had received the control note left any contact details. The difference was statistically significant.</div><div><br></div><div>Next we tested what might explain this difference. For this, we looked to how participants rated their mentees.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div><img src="http://www.thankyounotes.org/img/pics/201504_1630_dhchb.jpg" width="634" height="422"></div><div><div><b>In the study, mentees were perceived as more interpersonally warm when they had expressed gratitude</b></div><div><br></div><div>Specifically, we considered two dimensions  interpersonal warmth (kindness and friendliness) and competence (skill and intelligence).</div><div><br></div><div>We reasoned that if gratitude expressions function to service social relationships, the effect should be better explained by warmth than by competence.</div><div><br></div><div>Sure enough, mentees were perceived as more interpersonally warm when they had expressed gratitude.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Further, this increase in perceived interpersonal warmth explained the increase in likelihood of leaving contact information for the gratitude-expressing mentees. This wasn't the case for competence.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Saying 'thank you' goes beyond good manners. At the end of the day, initiating a social bond can be risky.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>We need to be selective and choose to invest in those bonds with the highest likelihood of being a good investment.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div><img src="http://www.thankyounotes.org/img/pics/201504_1631_bgiee.jpg" width="634" height="459"></div><div><div><b>An expression of gratitude showed that they were good candidates for a future social relationship</b></div><div><br></div><div>In this context, an expression of gratitude serves as a signal that the expresser is a good candidate for a future social relationship.</div><div><br></div><div>Expanding the premise a bit further, perhaps the gratitude challenges that have swept social media (in their 7, 10, 21, 100, or 365 day forms) might have downstream benefit.</div><div><br></div><div>In these challenges, a person posts verbal statements or photographs of things for which they are grateful on a daily basis via Facebook, Instagram, Blog, or Twitter  in essence, a very public and ongoing gratitude journal.</div><div><br></div><div>There's little doubt this has a positive effect on the social relationships directly implicated in these expressions, though some find it annoying and question whether it's sustainable.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Our findings suggest that undertaking such gratitude challenges might have an effect on how even strangers come to see us.</div><div><br></div><div>While many questions remain for future research, our research provides initial evidence for the power of saying 'thank you' to strangers.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Something to keep in mind the next time you pick up your dry cleaning or are given a seat on the train.</div></div></div></div></div></div></div>
<div><ul><li>68 per cent who had received a 'thank you' note also left a note in return</li><li>Those who said 'thank you' were seen as having a 'warmer' personality</li><li>The study claims that saying 'thank you' starts new friendships, reminds people of their existing social bonds and maintains older relationships&nbsp;</li></ul>< ;/div><div><br></div><di v><div>Most of us were taught that saying 'thank you' is simply the polite thing to do.&nbsp;</div><div><br>&l t;/div><div>But recent research in social psychology suggests that saying 'thank you' goes beyond good manners it also serves to build and maintain social relationships.</div><div><br>& lt;/div><div>The research specifically looked at how do expressions of gratitude among strangers shape social relations? Might hearing 'thank you' help us 'find' new social relationships?</div><div><br>& lt;/div><div><b>Most of us were taught that saying 'thank you' is simply the polite thing to do. But research suggests that saying 'thank you' goes beyond good manners � it also serves to build and maintain social relationship</b></div><div>< ;br></div><div>It was based on the find-remind-and-bind theory of gratitude, proposed by US psychologist Sara Algoe, from the University of North Carolina.&nbsp;</div><div><br ></div><div>According to this theory, gratitude starts new friendships (find), orients people to existing social relationships (remind) and promotes existing relationships (bind).</div><div><br></div ><div>My colleague Monica Bartlett, from Gonzaga University in Washington and I carried out the first empirical test of the 'find' function of expressing gratitude among strangers.</div><div><br></ div><div>In the study, we sought to create a situation in the lab where we could manipulate the expression of gratitude in a realistic way.&nbsp;</div><div><br>& lt;/div><div>So we asked our 70 undergraduate participants to help pilot a new mentoring programme supposedly run by the university.</div><div><br>< /div><div><img src="http://www.thankyounotes.org/img/pics/ 201504_1628_bbbfg.jpg" width="634" height="421"></div><div> ;<div><b>For half of the participants those in the control condition - this note simply acknowledged the advice. Critically, for the other half of the participants, the note also included an expression of gratitude</b></div><div><b& gt;<br></b></div><div>As part of the pilot, all of our participants were to act as mentors by giving advice on a writing sample from a high-school student mentee.&nbsp;</div><div><br&g t;</div><div>The writing sample was one that the mentee planned to use in their university admissions package.</div><div><br></di v><div>This setup ensured that we satisfied one of the core starting points of gratitude the granting of help, resources or a favour.</div><div><br></div ><div>A week later, we brought the participants back to the lab. All participants received a note purportedly written by the high school mentee.&nbsp;</div><div><br&g t;</div><div>For half of the participants those in the control condition - this note simply acknowledged the advice.&nbsp;</div><div><br&g t;</div><div>Critically, for the other half of the participants, the note also included an expression of gratitude. &nbsp;</div><div><br></ div><div>Participants next completed a series of questionnaires assessing their impressions of the mentee, and then were informed that the study was complete.</div><div><br></d iv><div>Except, that wasn't quite true. The researcher casually mentioned that the pilot program organisers had left a set of notecards for mentors to complete if they chose to.&nbsp;</div><div><br>&l t;/div><div>The programme organisers would ensure that the mentee received the note if the mentee were accepted to the university.</div><div><br>< /div><div><img src="http://www.thankyounotes.org/img/pics/ 201504_1629_cddbi.jpg" width="634" height="422"></div><div> ;<div><b>Study claims saying thank you starts new friendships, reminds us of bonds and maintains older relationships</b></div><div>&l t;br></div><div><div>The researcher made it clear that leaving a note was completely optional and then left the room. Participants were left alone to decide whether to write a note, and, if so, what to say.</div><div><br></div> ;<div>This note-writing opportunity served as our dependent measure of actual social affiliation.</div><div><br>< ;/div><div>Would participants take the opportunity to establish a social relationship with their mentee? Would this depend on whether the mentee had expressed gratitude?&nbsp;</div><div><b r></div><div>Perhaps not surprisingly, all but three participants wrote a welcome note. Promisingly for the 'find' hypothesis, all three participants who didn't leave a note were in the control condition.&nbsp;</div><div><b r></div><div>To test the 'find' hypothesis more directly, we coded what participants wrote in those notes and a pattern quickly became clear.</div><div><br></div& gt;<div>Of the participants who had received a note expressing gratitude from their mentee, 68 per cent left their contact details in their note.&nbsp;</div><div><br> </div><div>Only 42 per cent of those who had received the control note left any contact details. The difference was statistically significant.</div><div><br>< ;/div><div>Next we tested what might explain this difference. For this, we looked to how participants rated their mentees.&nbsp;</div><div><br& gt;</div><div><img src="http://www.thankyounotes.org/img/pics/ 201504_1630_dhchb.jpg" width="634" height="422"></div><div> ;<div><b>In the study, mentees were perceived as more interpersonally warm when they had expressed gratitude</b></div><div><br ></div><div>Specifically, we considered two dimensions interpersonal warmth (kindness and friendliness) and competence (skill and intelligence).</div><div><br>& lt;/div><div>We reasoned that if gratitude expressions function to service social relationships, the effect should be better explained by warmth than by competence.</div><div><br>< /div><div>Sure enough, mentees were perceived as more interpersonally warm when they had expressed gratitude.&nbsp;</div><div><b r></div><div>Further, this increase in perceived interpersonal warmth explained the increase in likelihood of leaving contact information for the gratitude-expressing mentees. This wasn't the case for competence.&nbsp;</div><div>< br></div><div>Saying 'thank you' goes beyond good manners. At the end of the day, initiating a social bond can be risky.&nbsp;</div><div><br> ;</div><div>We need to be selective and choose to invest in those bonds with the highest likelihood of being a good investment.&nbsp;</div><div>< br></div><div><img src="http://www.thankyounotes.org/img/pics/ 201504_1631_bgiee.jpg" width="634" height="459"></div><div> ;<div><b>An expression of gratitude showed that they were good candidates for a future social relationship</b></div><div>< ;br></div><div>In this context, an expression of gratitude serves as a signal that the expresser is a good candidate for a future social relationship.</div><div><br>&l t;/div><div>Expanding the premise a bit further, perhaps the gratitude challenges that have swept social media (in their 7, 10, 21, 100, or 365 day forms) might have downstream benefit.</div><div><br></di v><div>In these challenges, a person posts verbal statements or photographs of things for which they are grateful on a daily basis via Facebook, Instagram, Blog, or Twitter in essence, a very public and ongoing gratitude journal.</div><div><br></di v><div>There's little doubt this has a positive effect on the social relationships directly implicated in these expressions, though some find it annoying and question whether it's sustainable.&nbsp;</div><div>< ;br></div><div>Our findings suggest that undertaking such gratitude challenges might have an effect on how even strangers come to see us.</div><div><br></div> <div>While many questions remain for future research, our research provides initial evidence for the power of saying 'thank you' to strangers.&nbsp;</div><div><b r></div><div>Something to keep in mind the next time you pick up your dry cleaning or are given a seat on the train.</div></div></div></d iv></div></div></div>
Lisa A. Williams
Personal Growth Personal Development 

6 Surprising Ways Being Grateful Makes You Happier

Why learning to be grateful is one of the most selfish things you can do.
16
<div>How often do you stop to list the things in your life you're most grateful for? If your answer is, "Not often enough!" I'm with you. Maybe it's because I was raised Jewish, and in our tradition declaring that you're happy is said to invite bad events. Whatever the reason, I have an annoying tendency to focus on the negative.</div><div><br></div><div>Very annoying, according to my husband, who over a recent breakfast in North Platte, Nebraska lit into me for my consistently dark outlook. In my defense, I was sleeping in a van at the time. Nevertheless, he was right. We were in the middle of a long-dreamed-of cross-country relocation. We were making the move in support of his music career and it was working: he already had a gig awaiting him when we arrived. My business was going better than ever, just at the time when we needed it to finance the move. We really had a lot for which to be grateful. And once I got over being angry about it, I was grateful to him for the reminder.</div><div><br></div><div>I still have a lot of trouble being as grateful as I should for all the wonderful things in my life. But I'm working on it, out of pure selfishness. Reminding yourself to feel grateful is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Few mental adjustments bring so great a benefit. Consider all the good things that can happen if you start reminding yourself, even just once a day, of all you have to be grateful about:</div><div><br></div><div><b>1. You'll be in a better mood.</b></div><div>Focusing on your reasons for gratitude means focusing on the things that make you happy. And as I'm trying hard to learn, being happy about the good things in your life won't cause the Evil Eye to come after you. It will just give you a more optimistic outlook, which will in turn make you feel happier and more grateful. It's a self-reinforcing cycle, and that's a good thing.</div><div><br></div><div><b>2. You'll be more popular.</b></div><div>If your usual attitude is to be grateful for the good things in your life and you have a positive, happy outlook, you will be more fun to be around than if you're constantly griping about everything. Most people are drawn to those who are positive, happy, and optimistic than they are to constant complainers. Your happy attitude may even prove to be contagious, making them happier too.</div><div><br></div><div><b>3. You'll be more resilient.</b></div><div>Practicing gratitude will tend to give you a sense of perspective. If, as many gratitude gurus recommend, you start the day by mentally listing three things you're grateful for before you even get out of bed, you'll have a much better sense of what really matters than if you start the day by reaching for your phone or tablet and reading your email.</div><div><br></div><div>That sense of perspective may make a difference when you're faced with a difficult co-worker, employee, or customer, a business or personal setback, or any of the other frustrations of modern life. You'll be likelier to handle those frustrations with more wisdom, because keeping the things you're grateful for in mind will help you see the big picture.</div><div><br></div><div><b>4. You'll be more generous.</b></div><div>I'm not just talking about actual giving, although that might happen as well. I mean something larger--the ability to consider a situation from someone else's point of view and treat that person with as much kindness as possible. Remembering that you're grateful for your job or business will help you get over your aggravation if one of your co-workers or employees leaves a task unfinished so that you have to complete it.</div><div><br></div><div><b>5. You'll be better off if the Law of Attraction is real.</b></div><div>Some people are big believers in the Law of Attraction (a.k.a. The Secret), which says that which you focus on will come to you. That is, if you're always thinking about debt, you'll have more debt. If you're always thinking about wealth, you'll have more wealth.</div><div><br></div><div>I'm not sure I subscribe to this view. In particular, it seems to me that the people with the most debt are those who never think about it all. But I do believe that where we focus our attention, we are likelier to make things happen, and so if nothing else, the Law of Attraction has homed in on a profound part of human nature. Will thinking about what we're grateful for tend to bring us more of whatever that is? It seems highly possible to me that it will.</div><div><br></div><div><b>6. You'll live longer.</b></div><div>Three years ago, research confirmed what most of us have already observed: Happier people live longer, healthier lives. In a surprising study, researchers divided older people into happy, unhappy, and in-between categories and then tracked them over five years. More of the unhappy group died than either of the other two, and once researchers had controlled for age, chronic illness, depression, and healthy or unhealthy behaviors (such as getting regular exercise), they found that happy people were 35 percent less likely to die than unhappy ones. Practicing gratitude will not only make your life more enjoyable, it could actually give you more life.</div><div><br></div><div>It seems worth doing, doesn't it?</div>
<div>How often do you stop to list the things in your life you're most grateful for? If your answer is, "Not often enough!" I'm with you. Maybe it's because I was raised Jewish, and in our tradition declaring that you're happy is said to invite bad events. Whatever the reason, I have an annoying tendency to focus on the negative.</div><div><br></d iv><div>Very annoying, according to my husband, who over a recent breakfast in North Platte, Nebraska lit into me for my consistently dark outlook. In my defense, I was sleeping in a van at the time. Nevertheless, he was right. We were in the middle of a long-dreamed-of cross-country relocation. We were making the move in support of his music career and it was working: he already had a gig awaiting him when we arrived. My business was going better than ever, just at the time when we needed it to finance the move. We really had a lot for which to be grateful. And once I got over being angry about it, I was grateful to him for the reminder.</div><div><br></d iv><div>I still have a lot of trouble being as grateful as I should for all the wonderful things in my life. But I'm working on it, out of pure selfishness. Reminding yourself to feel grateful is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Few mental adjustments bring so great a benefit. Consider all the good things that can happen if you start reminding yourself, even just once a day, of all you have to be grateful about:</div><div><br></div& gt;<div><b>1. You'll be in a better mood.</b></div><div>Focusing on your reasons for gratitude means focusing on the things that make you happy. And as I'm trying hard to learn, being happy about the good things in your life won't cause the Evil Eye to come after you. It will just give you a more optimistic outlook, which will in turn make you feel happier and more grateful. It's a self-reinforcing cycle, and that's a good thing.</div><div><br></div& gt;<div><b>2. You'll be more popular.</b></div><div>If your usual attitude is to be grateful for the good things in your life and you have a positive, happy outlook, you will be more fun to be around than if you're constantly griping about everything. Most people are drawn to those who are positive, happy, and optimistic than they are to constant complainers. Your happy attitude may even prove to be contagious, making them happier too.</div><div><br></div> ;<div><b>3. You'll be more resilient.</b></div><div>Pract icing gratitude will tend to give you a sense of perspective. If, as many gratitude gurus recommend, you start the day by mentally listing three things you're grateful for before you even get out of bed, you'll have a much better sense of what really matters than if you start the day by reaching for your phone or tablet and reading your email.</div><div><br></div& gt;<div>That sense of perspective may make a difference when you're faced with a difficult co-worker, employee, or customer, a business or personal setback, or any of the other frustrations of modern life. You'll be likelier to handle those frustrations with more wisdom, because keeping the things you're grateful for in mind will help you see the big picture.</div><div><br></di v><div><b>4. You'll be more generous.</b></div><div>I'm not just talking about actual giving, although that might happen as well. I mean something larger--the ability to consider a situation from someone else's point of view and treat that person with as much kindness as possible. Remembering that you're grateful for your job or business will help you get over your aggravation if one of your co-workers or employees leaves a task unfinished so that you have to complete it.</div><div><br></div> <div><b>5. You'll be better off if the Law of Attraction is real.</b></div><div>Some people are big believers in the Law of Attraction (a.k.a. The Secret), which says that which you focus on will come to you. That is, if you're always thinking about debt, you'll have more debt. If you're always thinking about wealth, you'll have more wealth.</div><div><br></div ><div>I'm not sure I subscribe to this view. In particular, it seems to me that the people with the most debt are those who never think about it all. But I do believe that where we focus our attention, we are likelier to make things happen, and so if nothing else, the Law of Attraction has homed in on a profound part of human nature. Will thinking about what we're grateful for tend to bring us more of whatever that is? It seems highly possible to me that it will.</div><div><br></div&g t;<div><b>6. You'll live longer.</b></div><div>Three years ago, research confirmed what most of us have already observed: Happier people live longer, healthier lives. In a surprising study, researchers divided older people into happy, unhappy, and in-between categories and then tracked them over five years. More of the unhappy group died than either of the other two, and once researchers had controlled for age, chronic illness, depression, and healthy or unhealthy behaviors (such as getting regular exercise), they found that happy people were 35 percent less likely to die than unhappy ones. Practicing gratitude will not only make your life more enjoyable, it could actually give you more life.</div><div><br></div&g t;<div>It seems worth doing, doesn't it?</div>
MINDA ZETLIN
Inspirational Being Thankful 
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