Life is a grind?
It sure feels that way sometimes, doesn’t it?
Have you ever got up in the morning, thought about the long haul ahead – looming deadlines, plenty of chores to do and tried your best to forget it all by going back to sleep? How you wish that the morning hadn’t come so soon! I had one of those mornings today. I wanted to pull up the blanket and sleep a little longer. And then I realized how blessed I am with all I have. I began to think about the day ahead with a grateful heart – thankful for the abundance of love in my life; thankful for everything I have…..the list went on.
Most of us feel anxious out of anticipation – we anticipate pain, problems, reactions of other people. Then life becomes one big grind. Worry, they say, is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere!
Three recent studies support the use of gratitude in improving mood:
Emmons and McCullough (2003) were surprised to find that happiness could be increased by a simple gratitude exercise. Participants took the time to write down 5 things they were grateful for each week, for 10 weeks. At the end of the study this group were 25% happier than a comparison group who simply listed five events from the week.
Lyubomirsky et al. (2005) compared practising gratitude three times a week with once a week. They found that only those who carried out the exercise once a week were happier. This suggests overdoing the gratitude is not beneficial – perhaps because of habituation.
Seligman, Steen, Park and Peterson (2005) carried out a randomised, placebo-controlled study. They followed participants up 6 months after they had begun carrying out a simple gratitude exercise and found they were happier and less depressed than a control group. In this study, though, participants initially wrote about what they were grateful for every day for a week.
At least for today I will focus on being grateful and I know I will accomplish more.
May you be inspired – every day!