Sharon Andrew, Happiness Evangelist at Happiest Minds Technologies, Bangalore, writes about why being thankful is as important as anything else.
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was ‘Thank You’, that would suffice. Meister Eckhart
Dr. Robert Emmons, author of ‘Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude can make you Happier’ says that frequentthankfulness boosts happiness by 25%. He says that in order for gratitude to yield happiness and health benefits, itmust be CHRONIC. “A habitual attitude of thankfulness, as opposed to one-off reactions. Feeling gratitude must be ingrained into your personality, and you must frequently acknowledge and be thankful for the role other people play in your happiness.”
Research has shown that:
– those who kept weekly gratitude journals, exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).
– self-guided gratitude exercises with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others).
– children who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and their families (Froh, Sefick, & Emmons, 2008).
Emmons designed “The Gratitude Questionnaire-Six Item Form (GQ-6)” to measure a person’s Gratitude Quotient. (McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112-127.)
Using the scale below as a guide, write a number beside each statement to indicate how much you agree with it.
1 = strongly disagree
2 = disagree
3 = slightly disagree
4 = neutral
5 = slightly agree
6 = agree
7 = strongly agree
1. I have so much in life to be thankful for.
2. If I had to list everything that I felt grateful for, it would be a very long list.
3. When I look at the world, I see much to be grateful for.
4. I am grateful to a wide variety of people.
5. As I get older I find myself more able to appreciate the people, events, and situations that have been part of my life history.
6. Long amounts of time can go by before I feel grateful to something or someone.*
1. Add up your scores for items 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
2. Reverse your scores for item 6. That is, if you scored a “7,” give yourself a “1,” if you scored a “6,” give yourself a “2,” etc.
3. Add all the scores.
This is your total Gratitude Quotient; a number between 6 and 42.
The higher your score, the greater your Gratitude Quotient!
- The Happiness Advantage (missionsharingknowledge.wordpress.com)
- Grateful People Are Happier, Healthier Long After the Leftovers Are Gone (thehandiestone.typepad.com)