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SOUL/BODY: Another Reason to List What You're Grateful For.

by Sheldon Lewis

In a study of the power of gratitude (along with immunosuppressant drugs) to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs, it was found that organ recipients who kept "gratitude journals" had better general health, mental health, and vitality than recipients whose journals focused on routine daily concerns.

Researcher UC-Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), randomly assigned 16 transplant patients into two groups. Both groups recorded their feelings about life and the coming day, their connections to others, and side effects they were feeling from medication. One group was asked to make a daily list of five things or people they were grateful for, and why.

After 21 days, those who kept gratitude journals had improved scores for mental health and general well-being, while both of those measures declined for patients who kept the "routine" journals. Explains Emmons, "Having a chronic medical condition puts one at risk for deteriorating mental health, and a reduction in one's sense of general health and vitality is an indicator of this. Gratitude may serve as a buffer against these risks."
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Author:Lewis, Sheldon
Publication:Spirituality & Health Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2008
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