The Power of Gratitude

Remember to give thanks to starting each day off on the right foot by giving thanks.

What if you woke up today with only the things you gave thanks for yesterday? This has become a reality for many of us during the pandemic. Remember when we would say, “I have to go to a sales meeting.” Or, “I have to hold an open house.” With a new perspective, we look forward to the day we can say, “I get to go to the sales meeting.” The simple activities we took for granted, like taking a friend to dinner, are now valued and missed. 

Writer Laura Kelly Fanucci states it beautifully.

“When this is over,
may we never again
take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theater
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
Life itself.
When this ends
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be
and may we stay
that way — better
for each other
because of the worst.”

– Laura Kelly Fanucci

Dr. Robert Emmons, University of California-Davis, has devoted much of his career to the study of gratitude. Here are five of his findings on the power of a morning gratitude routine.

  1. Goals: Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal, and health-based). 
  2. Mindset: A daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, and energy.
  3. Giving: Participants in the daily gratitude condition were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or having offered emotional support to another.
  4. Health: In a sample of adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention resulted in greater amounts of high-energy, positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality, relative to a control group.
  5. Well-Being: Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism, and lower levels of depression and stress. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life. They put them in perspective.

Begin your day with the power of gratitude. As Dr. Michael Beckwith says, “You cannot bring anything new into your life until you are first grateful for what you have now.”