'Researchers had a group of students write for twenty minutes each day about things they were grateful for, a second about things they were angry about, and a third about random topics like the color of their shoes. Guess which group was happiest at the end of the experiment? The ones who wrote about things they were grateful for. Even more interesting is that those who wrote about the things they were grateful for were less likely to be sick throughout the semester.'
(Chad M. Burton and Laura King, 'The health benefits of writing about intensely positive experiences.' Journal of Research in Personality 38, no 2 (2004): 150-63)
I continued reading the article that quoted this experiment and found a challenge:
Write a list of 100 things you are thankful for...
100 things seems a lot, I'm sure I could find one hundred things...but it might take a while, and little thinking! The article helped by offering a solution...write ten lists of ten things for different categories...this looked so much easier!
- Write 10 living people you are grateful for.
- Write 10 people who have died you are grateful for.
- Write 10 physical attributes you are grateful for.
- Write 10 material possessions you are grateful for.
- Write 10 things about nature you are grateful for.
- Write 10 things about today you are grateful for.
- Write 10 places on earth you are grateful for.
- Write 10 modern-day inventions you are grateful for.
- Write 10 foods you are grateful for.
- Write 10 things about your faith you are grateful for.
So...my plan...is to write my list of one hundred, but in the categories listed...Call it a New Year Resolution (I don't make many of those) if you like...but I hope that while compiling my list of gratefulness I will find that I've barely scratched the surface of all the things that I'm thankful for...
Care to join me?