Sunday, September 09, 2007

You are happier by being grateful

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." - Marcus Cicero

It was proven
Psychologists Dr Michael McCullough and Dr Robert Emmons found that being grateful make people happier.

The Experiment
They asked volunteers to keep daily diaries for two weeks. One group recorded daily hassles, another group jotted down events, and a third, the ‘gratitude group’, listed five things they were thankful for each day. By the end, people in the gratitude group were so much happier, their spouses noticed a change.

Benefits of being grateful
People who frequently experience gratitude are also more optimistic and helpful, and have more determination and energy.

Every good trait you’d want for yourself or for other people seems to go along with being grateful,” says McCullough.

Take a look at this story:
There was a story of a couple who had been fortunate to earn multi-millions and had chosen to continue to compete and indulged in many businesses, moral or immoral, legal or illegal, as their lusts for being the richest people in the world, they had continued to take risks, enjoyed their conquers, until one day, their empire of businesses burst, collapsed, and they had lost everything, and were bankrupted.

Then they had to live without proper shelters, and live by collecting from wastes. One day in a storm, they found a dime on the roadside, they picked it up and were so grateful for the dime, their tears rolled down in their cheeks, and mixing with the raindrops, there were feeling of joy for able to have a dime.

Only then, they learn how to be grateful and be happy. While in the past they had millions of dollars, they were not grateful, and continued to indulge in more activities to search greedily for more and wish to be number one in the world and be most powerful people in the world!

(Author: Unknown)

Therefore, as we are blessed with what we have now, let's be grateful and be happy and do not complain. Just make the most of what you have now.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

If you want to feel happier in as little as two weeks, write down four or five things you were grateful for each day.

What do you think? Are you going to try this exercise?

Photo 1 by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ taken from this source
Photo 2 by SeenyaRita taken from this source

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Rebecca said...

Sam Chan,

I enjoyed your post. I found this through gurushabad and like what you have to say. I agree with the idea of making a gratitude list every day. My blog, Gratitude Practices, is devoted to expressing gratitude.

Sam Chan said...

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for giving me your feedback. I am really glad that you liked this post.

It is great to know you - one who has been practicing the idea of making a gratitude list every day. I believe I can learn a lot from you. I will visit your blog after this.

Best wishes

jennifer said...

Hi Sam... YES!

Actually I started a gratitude journal several years ago and wrote three things for which I was grateful each day. My personal "rules" were... I could not repeat myself during the year, and I could not miss one day. I kept this routine up for several years.

It was easy at first but after six or seven hundred things I really started having to look to find new things for which I was grateful. But I always found something. When the new year began I started afresh.

I'm a very strong believer in gratitude and thank you for sharing this lovely post!

Blessings to you my dear friend,


mr fong said...

Jennifer, that is amazing. The lesson to be learnt from you is that we cannot stop finding things to thank God for if we try!

There is never a shortage of things to let us show gratitude.

Thank you

mr fong said...

BTW Sam, I commented yesterday night at 12am...Oh no, I do not find it!Therefore was puzzled when I did not see your reply, lol.. :)

anits said...

hi sir...thank you for your guidance :)

surjit said...

"As we express our gratitude,.... the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them..'
These words are full of wisdom.But most of us do not live by them.
Can we pay all our debts with money? I agree with that we are blessed with whatever we have today and we must always be grateful for it.
Thanks Sam, for the reminder. God bless.

Sam Chan said...

Hi Jennifer,

THAT'S GREAT! I am glad to know that you are one of those who had been making using of gratitude list each day. Do you find yourself happier when you practice such exercise?

I believe if you don't set the rule of allowing only unique gratitude items, it won't be so difficult. Otherwise, it is true.. it can becomes difficult to find new things to be grateful for after some time.

Many Blessings to you, Jennifer!

Sam Chan said...

Hi Winston,

I did not receive your comments for this post. Blogspot is not behaving?!... causing me to miss your valuable comments. I wonder whether it is due to blogspot couldn't cope with the increase in traffic?

I am really sorry about that. If you don't mind, resubmit your comment. Maybe take that as typing practice and memory drill. Thank you.

My Best Wishes

Sam Chan said...

Hi Anits,

You are welcome. There are indeed so many things to learn in life that we should constantly learn from one another.

My Best Wishes

Sam Chan said...

Hi Surjit,

Thanks for adding your insightful views. Indeed, nobody can pay all their debts with money. Money cannot buy everything.

Let's remind ourselves to be grateful at all times.

My Best Wishes

JesseTheCat said...

Hello Sam...I just read Winstons comment here and with regard to that I also left a comment last week on your other blog which seems to have never been recieved by you.Must be blogger having some difficulties.Still, I re-entered a similar comment when I returned,which you got.. so all is well:)
About this post, I am also going to keep a list of things I am grateful for, I need to remind myself as the busy affairs of the world try to take centre stage.There are many things that we often take for granted, simple things, like our eyesight or sense of smell ...but if we were to lose them, we would feel really devastated.This post makes me realise that I have so much...even though sometimes I feel that I dont! Great and informative as usual, Sam! Happy day to you :)

Sam Chan said...

Hi Jesse,

Thanks. I really appreciate that. I wonder whether any of the bloggers have this problem at their blog or only happen to my blog :(

Jesse, I am glad that you are going to keep a list of things you are grateful for. Hope you will be happier by doing that!

Blessings and Joy to you, Jesse!

Joel said...

Hello sam...I was surfing the web seeking info about the benefits of being grateful when i found your blog. Personally, i have a lot to be grateful for, it started when i survived a high speed motorcycle head-on collision on highway 9 by Santa Cruz, California one spring day in April 2000. I was flown by a Medivac Helicopter to Stanford Hospital that very afternoon. I am grateful because what the doctors found as a diagnosis was i suffered a broken collar bone & a broken right rib...and that was it! I was brought home that very night and recovered great. According to The California Highway Patrol, i flew 20 feet away, 12 feet in the air, went in between a telephone pole and with it's supporting wire and landed in some bushes. I knew from that very moment on that SOMEBODY UP THERE really likes me and to this day, i use this as token of remembrance that i was given a 2nd chance at life, which we all know that a lot of us out there don't get much & i am really & extremely grateful everyday! We all tend to focus on the wrong things to worry but if we stop for a moment and ponder the small blessings that we all get everyday, we will all be surprised that we all have a ton of things to be really thankful for each day! thanks for opening up this blog & God bless you!!! :) Sincerely,

Sam Chan said...

Hi Joel,

Thank you for sharing your personal experience. Indeed, there are so many things that we have to remember to be grateful for.

May God continue to bless you and touch the heart of those that you had shared your experience.