The benefits of exercising gratitude has been studied by researchers, and promoted by influential people such as Oprah Winfrey over the years.
Dr. Robert Emmons, a University of California professor, has been studying the effects of gratitude on quality of life and has found that there are many positive benefits of adapting an attitude of gratitude.
Dr. Emmons claims that, "gratitude improves emotional and physical health and it can strengthen relationships and communities."
From all that I’ve read on this subject it seems advantageous to give this practise of thanks a chance. It appears the benefits would influence not only our personal lives, but lives on a larger scale as well.
What better time than summer in Winnipeg to begin such an experiment?
After a longer than usual winter I know that, collectively, we as a city have much to be thankful for with the changing of the seasons. Having just celebrated Canada Day is also impetus for counting our blessings as a nation.
Remembering that this is a skill which will take some time to incorporate into your framework of thinking is important to note.
Some people have been successful with journaling, or making a place on their phones to make their lists of things for which they’re grateful. (I’m pretty sure there’s an app for that.) I have found that running a mental check list while driving works well and sets the tone for the rest of my day. Finding a strategy that fits your personality is the best approach.
The regime of practisng gratitude is like a good menetal exercise program and will take some intentionality and faithful commitment.
The great news is it’s free and could have some very positive outcomes. It might even change your life!
Kelley Sookram is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia.