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"The test of all happiness,” said G.K. Chesterton, “is gratitude."
Learning to experience gratitude involves being grateful as an attitude, not as a reaction when good things occur. To be grateful, one does not need to wait until things are perfect. In fact, practicing gratitude makes one receptive to life's blessings, and these blessings continue as we continue to be thankful.
In one study, described by author Robert Emmons, participants who wrote about five things for which they were grateful experienced more positive emotional states and were more likely to help others over a period of ten weeks than were participants who wrote about the hassles and stressors they experienced during the same time.
"Love wholeheartedly,” says Brother David Steindl-Rast, “be surprised, give thanks and praise—then you will discover the fullness of your life."
Gratitude provides gifts to both the giver and the receiver, and this illuminating book will inspire readers to recognize just how truly blessed we are.
Robert A. Emmons, PhD, is professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, where he has taught for the past thirteen years. In his research, he explores how religiousness and spirituality may reflect core aspects of identity and how these aspects of self are involved in well-being and personality. He is the author of over sixty research articles and book chapters. His most recent book is the Psychology of Ultimate Concerns: Motivation and Spirituality in Personality.
Joanna Hill received her MA in religious studies from the Academy of the New Church Theological School in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, where she currently resides.