By Deb Scott

I firmly believe the greatest people I have met in my life, are always the most grateful.

Does this describe you?

The grateful person undoubtedly possess one or all of the following qualities I deeply admire: peace, humility and happiness.

A Grateful Person is a Happy and Healthy Person

Research by Dr. Robert Emmons at UC Davis showed adults, youth, children, and even those with medical disabilities benefited in a variety of of ways both mentally and physically.

Summary of Findings

• In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis 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).

• A related benefit was observed in the realm of personal goal attainment: Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions.

• 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 compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others). There was no difference in levels of unpleasant emotions reported in the three groups.

• 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, relative to the hassles or social comparison condition.

• 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.

• Children who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and their families (Froh, Sefick, & Emmons, 2008).

The good news is emotional resilience is not limited to your genetic make up – you CAN improve your attitude and overall well being by taking an active role in reflecting on the many things you can be grateful for.

What can YOU be grateful for today?

1. Did you get up in a warm house this morning?

It is estimated by the National Alliance to End Homelessness that 2.3 and 3.5 million people experience homelessness in America.

2. Did you have running water to brush your teeth?

The World Commission on Water for the 21st Century, says three billion of the world’s population lives in squalor and misery without access to proper sanitation or clean water.

3. Can you read, write, hear, or speak?

Helen Keller could not read, write, hear or speak – yet she became one of the greatest thought leaders of our time, making the whole world a better place.

Once asked what was worse than being blind, Ms. Keller answered “Being able to see, but not having any vision.

4. Do you have 2 arms to write and 2 legs to walk?

There are many wounded warriors coming home this Thanksgiving and Christmas without limbs protecting the freedom for you and me.

Nick Vujicic has something to say to you about Life without Limbs.

I’ve had the pleasure now to interview over 100 experts and celebrities on my Best People We Know Radio Show – and it never fails – the really great ones are always the most humble and grateful for every blessing they have had the privilege to experience. The are passionate about helping other people be happy.

Count your blessings not your burdens.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Cicero


Deb Scott, BA, CPC is Author of the THREE time National Award Winning Book The Sky is Green and The Grass is Blue – turning your upside down world right side up! , a Certified Professional Coach at Discover the Amazing YOU! Coaching, and host of the hit new Best People We Know Show! On Blog Talk Radio. Self Help Radio