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Having an attitude of gratitude

I was watching a television show recently where one person asked the other, “how is your day?” That person was complaining that it was Monday and they didn’t want to be at work, didn’t want to get out of bed, had too much to do, and the list went on.

The other person, with their upbeat and positive attitude, quickly pointed out, “You have a job, don’t you? You have a home, don’t you? You have a bed to sleep in, don’t you? … Then life is not so bad.”

Many people in this world don’t have those things and long for them each day. You see this every day if you travel the city streets.

Having an attitude of gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.

In a study published by Harvard Health, researchers found that gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.

Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude.

In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on topics.

One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them.

After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. They also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources negatively.

So, remember to be grateful for all the things in your life, both big and small and even during times of adversity.

It is often challenging times and experiences that prepare us for future opportunities.

Crystal Vandegrift is a staff reporter for The Kenbridge Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Crystal.Vandegrift@KVDispatch.com.