Gratitude

By Dawn R. Clark, MD, Regional Physician Chief Wellness Facilitator

In the late 1990s, scientific papers on the subject of positive psychology started showing that Gratitude Works! (Robert Emmons, PhD).  Today, a body of literature demonstrates the science of gratitude has great benefits for one’s health.  Cultivating gratitude helps increase our sense of purpose, improve our abilities to deal with stress, increase our energy, enthusiasm and alertness, and even helps improve our resilience.  In fact, SCPMG’s own Pamela Honsberger, MD, and Mark Katz, MD, presented lunchtime case conferences on gratitude and resilience last year*.

People practice gratitude through various methods, including journaling, and, in the 21st Century, no pen and paper are required!

I found this gratitude journal app, by Happy Tapper ($1.99 on iTunes), to be user friendly and it gives me a daily reminder to acknowledge something for which I am grateful.

I find that practicing gratitude through journaling helps change the way one thinks about the world. I believe journaling with this gratitude app can be a great personal experience. Or you may wish to share the experience by journaling every night with your family after dinner, or with your partner before you go to sleep. Whether you’re expressing your gratitude through strokes on a keyboard, or writing down your thoughts, why give it a try? What’s the worst that could happen?

*Listen to all recorded health and wellness presentations, including “An Ounce of Bounce” by Mark Katz, MD, and “Attitude of Gratitude,” by Pam Honsberger, MD, on SCPMG Physician Portal.  From the Education and Training tab, go to >Online Learning>CME>Course Catalog>Health and Wellness.