Posted by: mattamorphosis | January 8, 2012

Everyday Thanks

Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough (2003) studied the effects of gratitude on well-being and found that participants who were asked to list what they were grateful for each day experienced more well-being relative to participants who were asked to list what hassles they had encountered or participants who were asked to write about neutral life events. These researchers even conducted a version of this study on people that they expected could understandably have a lot of frustration with life and poor well-being — people with chronic neuromuscular diseases. Even among the folks suffering from these painful physical maladies, writing about things in life that they were grateful for led to increases in positive affect and improve well-being. So, in this year of trying to make subtle changes to my life to promote a healthier, happier, and more productive me, I resolve to reflect on the things I am grateful for each day. When possible, I will post my daily thanks here to my blog.


Today’s Thanks

  • When I came home from my weekly Saturday morning pick-up basketball game, my black lab – whippet mix (Mojo) greeted me at the door as he usually does and playfully coddled and cuddled him as I ordinarily do. While holding my 35 pound pup in my arms and talking to him as if he was a baby, I felt so lucky. This past summer her had gotten into some food, probably on a walk or in the trash somewhere, and contracted a life-threatening intestinal infection. After 4 nights in the canine intensive care unit and 5 days at the veterinarian’s office, he came home with me and made a full recovery. There aren’t too many days that go by where I don’t think about how lucky I am that he pulled through and how glad I am to have such a wonderful furry best friend. He loves unconditionally and is the sweetest little guy. My life is better with him in it.
  • This evening I attended my university’s basketball game with a couple of friends in my PhD program. The game was a tight one and we ended up winning in the end, which is always nice. Following the game, I made the 20 minute walk back to my car and was thinking about how beautiful it was outside today and tonight. The sky was mostly clear, the stars were shining bright, and the temperature was very mild for a January night. This may be a “little thing,” but I think appreciating the little things in life is important.


What are you thankful for?



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