Facts with Hope
HOPE: Do you struggle with depression? Several studies have shown that the more grateful a person is, the less depressed they are. You can improve your happiness quotient by keeping a simple gratitude journal, recording in writing what you are grateful for from the previous week. Ask yourself, what have I received? What have I given? What can I learn from my difficulties?
FACT: Gratitude can help you live longer. In the famous “Nun Study,” researcher David Snowdon, from the Department of Neurology at the University of Kentucky Medical School, found that the more positive emotions (contentment, gratitude/thankfulness, happiness, hope and love) expressed in the life stories of nuns, the more likely they were to still be alive six decades later.
FACT: A grateful disposition enhances your marriage. Researcher John Gottman, from the University of Washington, has found that unless a couple is able to maintain a 5:1 or greater ratio of positive (smiles, compliments, laughter) to negative encounters (complaints, put-downs, expression of anger), it is likely the marriage will end.
FACT: Grateful people take better care of themselves. Researchers Emmons and McCullough found that study participants who kept a weekly gratitude journal exercised 1.5 hours more than the group who recorded daily hassles. In another study with adults having congenital and adult-onset neuromuscular disorders, participants who jotted down their blessings nightly reported more hours of sleep each night, spending less time awake before falling asleep, and feeling more refreshed upon awakening.