Free Gratitude Handout

Gratitude begins with attitude.

Gratitude is a choice that isn’t based on what is happening to us, what we have or don’t have but on how we choose to see what is happening to us and what we have or don’t have. We should cultivate an attitude of gratitude because it promotes our happiness and well-being. Grateful people are happier people.

Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much to be grateful for if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.

We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude is numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. The Roman philosopher, Cicero, said “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

What the Scientists say:

Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor at the University of California, Davis, and one of the leading scholars in the scientific study of gratitude, said the following:

“It is possible that psychology has ignored gratitude because it appears, on the surface, to be a very obvious emotion, lacking in interesting complications: we receive a gift—from friends, from family, from God—and then we feel pleasurably grateful. But while the emotion seemed simplistic even to me as I began my research, I soon discovered that gratitude is a deeper, more complex phenomenon that plays a critical role in human happiness. Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can measurably change people’s lives.”                                                               Robert A. Emmons, Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007), 2


Mary Ann

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