Count Your Blessings

In 2003 psychologists Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough did a ground-breaking study on gratitude. At the heart of the study was asking a group of participants in the "gratitude condition" to "count their blessings" each day for 21 days.

Their instructions were these:
There are many things in our lives, both large and small, that we might be grateful about. Think back over the past week and write down on the lines below up to five things in your life that you are grateful or thankful for.
Some of the things the participants wrote during the study were “waking up this morning,” “the generosity of friends,” “to God for giving me determination,” “for wonderful parents,” and “to the Lord for just another day."

Overall, after 21 days of the cheapest therapy you'll ever find--simply counting your blessings each day--the research found this:
We found that random assignment to the gratitude condition resulted in greater levels of positive affect, more sleep, better sleep quality, and greater optimism and a sense of connectedness to others.
Hope you get a chance to count your blessings today.

(You can read more about this study and about the science and psychology of gratitude in Robert Emmons' book Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.)

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