Psychologist Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis states that:
"Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress, and to achieve a positive sense of the self."
Dr. Emmons found that in an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events.
It is not about naturally having a grateful disposition, that goes against how our brains developed. We have been programed for survival to processes threat assessments and therefore we are alerted to negative situations about 3:1 over positive situations. It is, as Dr. Emmons research suggests, about developing a habit of being grateful irregardless of circumstances. It is about looking for things to be grateful for.
Take Dr. Emmons quiz How Grateful Are You? over on Beliefnet.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Peace, Love, and Light!