I regularly write about the power of gratitude and how gratitude has changed my life. I openly witnessed the power of gratitude during my mother and grandmother’s cancer illnesses and throughout my grief journey. I also feel that gratitude plays a significant role in my health by helping me deal with stress. Always being one to promote the power of gratitude, when I discovered Janice Kaplan had written The Gratitude Diaries – How a year looking on the bright side can transform your life, I placed myself on the preorder list. As I began reading the book, I loved my electronic copy it so much that I also purchased a hard copy so that I could underline significant parts that I wanted to remember.Kaplan, a journalist with multiple credits to her career, decided on New Year’s Eve that she was going to try the concept of practicing gratitude on a daily basis. Utilizing her skills as a journalist, she additionally spent time researching and interviewing psychologists, academics, doctors and philosophers in regards to the whys and how incorporating gratitude can make a difference. This Gratitude Diaries incorporates her journey where each month she focuses upon a different area of her life including marriage and friendship, money and ambition, health and illness. Along with her journey she shares significant research and information obtained from some of the most significant researchers along with conversations with real people and celebrities including Matt Damon, Daniel Craig and Jerry Seinfield. For example:
- Research shows it takes four to five positive statements to counterbalance one negative
- There has been found to be an inverse connection between stuff and gratitude. Materialism has been consistently related to lower levels of life satisfaction. Research show that people receive more lasting joy from experiences than from objects.
- The immune system responds to emotions. Worry, anger and fear cause white blood cells to attack and leave inflammation which often leads to significant health problems. A constant state of stress creates constant inflammation.
- Research has consistently shown that keeping a gratitude journal can lower blood pressure, lower levels of depression and improve sleep patterns.
- 80% of people surveyed said the would work harder for a more grateful boss while 70% reported they would feel better about themselves if a boss expressed gratitude.
- A consistent gratitude practice will affect how you look at every event in life.