*Counting Blessings Counts

Counting blessings sounds like a platitude, but recent studies by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough found that recording reasons for gratitude once a week improved health, exercise and attitude toward the future, but had no significant influence on the frequency of positive feelings. However counting blessings daily also made people feel happier and sleep better, both among healthy students and adults with neuromuscular disease. (Full story here.)

Do any of you keep a daily gratitude journal? I am going to try it for the rest of this year. That’s only a month and a bit. And then I’ll see what happens.

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10 thoughts on “*Counting Blessings Counts

  1. I read that same article, and I was wondering about trying to do it next year. But “till the end of the year” sounds like a good place to start 🙂

    1. Rachel, I saw your comment there–it’s a small net world.

  2. I’ve never kept a gratitude journal but I do use gratitude as a form of prayer. It’s something I need to encourage my children to do more, to say thank you for what they have.

    1. Charlotte, I wonder how to teach children that. Do you have any ideas?

  3. No, I’ve never kept a gratitude journal either, Lilian, but like Charlotte, I do pause – usually several times a day, just as a matter of course – to reflect on how fortunate I am. Perhaps it comes of knowing first-hand how different things might be, but whatever it is, it’s probably the closest thing I’ve got to prayer too, because it’s definitely an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving, although I couldn’t tell you to whom that gratitude and thanks is directed!

    1. Di, I forgot to write anything down yesterday, but when I was in bed, told my h all that I was grateful for that day. It was fun and there was much more than I had realized. But I confess, it didn’t improve my sleep any!

  4. Funnily enough, I was advised to do this so many times and I just couldn’t. And then I had the idea of keeping a negativity diary first. All the bad stuff and the unhappiness that I always felt I wasn’t permitted to express poured out, and once I felt freer in myself, I suddenly found I could feel gratitude so much more clearly than before. Now I don’t keep a diary but regularly turn to a totting up of all I’m grateful for if things start to get me down.

    1. Litlove, that’s a good point. There has to be freedom to release all the mental and heartfelt gunk, otherwise it gums up the works.

  5. I think a journal is a really good idea. I honestly think of things every day for which I am deeply grateful, but a record of that would be nice.

    1. Louise, I keep forgetting to write it down! I do think of things, but by the end of the day the journal is far from my mind.

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