UC Davis - The Science of Gratitude

We are hearing more about positive psychology and gratitude boosting endorphins in the media. I attended a conference for real estate professionals over the summer and one of the big take aways was writing down three gratitudes every day. I made it my goal to log three gratitudes every morning, and I’ve noticed a positive difference in how I deal with challenging transactions and difficult personalities. The conference presenters are based out of Colorado and they referenced the scientific work done at UC Davis.

Dr. Robert A Emmons, UCD Professor in the Department of Psychology, was one of the early pioneers in positive psychology and has spent the last 20 years researching the health benefits of gratitude. Dr. Emmons has authored many books, peer reviewed articles, and chapters to books, among which the book "Thanks!" published in 2007 has been cited in many motivational development conferences and workshops.  According to UC Davis Health website, Dr. Emmons is quoted "gratitude works because it allows individuals to celebrate the present and be an active participant in their own lives.  By valuing and appreciating friends, oneself, situations and circumstances, it focuses the mind on what an individual already has rather than something that's absent and is needed."  Keeping a Gratitude Journal is a way to visualize the things you are grateful for and it will help boost emotional and physical well being.

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On the back of the book Thanks! it states readers will discover how 

• People who regularly pratice grateful thinking can increase their "set-Point" for happiness by as much as 25 percent 

• Such increases can be sustained over a period of months - challenging the previously held notion that our "set-point" is frozen at birth 

• Keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks can result in better sleep and more energy.

To read more about Dr. Emmons research, visit the UC Davis Health website