Gratitude: The Science of Gratitude is Pretty Convincing

Drs. Blaire and Rita Justice reported for the University of Texas Health Science Center, “a growing body of research shows that gratitude is truly amazing in its physical and psychosocial benefits.

In one study on gratitude, conducted by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., at the University of California at Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami, participants were randomly given one of three tasks.

  1. One group keep a short journal and described five things they were grateful for that occurred in the past week;
  2. Another group recorded daily hassles from the previous week that displeased them;
  3. And the neutral group was asked to list five events or circumstances that affected them, but they were not told whether to focus on the positive or on the negative.

The results:  Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a whopping 25 percent happier than the hassled group. They reported fewer health complaints, and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.

Apparently, appreciating our everyday lives, family, friends and colleagues can even make us healthier (oh and I hope skinnier, but that hasn’t worked quite yet).  So I decided to make this first REED blog about being grateful because I think we can all be reminded of its incredible benefits.

I am grateful for many things in my life.  Being blessed with a loving family, wonderful friends and an incredibly inspiring job as the Executive Director here at REED Academy.

As I walked through the halls of school today, I wrote down five things that make me grateful about being at REED:

  1. Our Children – They are amazing, kind and work so hard every day to meet their personal milestones.
  2. Our Staff – They are dedicated, talented individuals that deserve our respect and praise.
  3. Our Parents – Your unwavering commitment to our school and your children.
  4. Our Donors – For supporting our work and adding so many incredible benefits to our campus.
  5. Our Corporate Partners – By allowing our older learners to volunteer in their businesses and giving them the important job skills they need for the future.

Let’s all practice being grateful.  Send me your list, I would love to post them on our website with your permission.

In gratitude,
Jill