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Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier Paperback – 1 Nov 2008
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"We can all be grateful to Robert Emmons for this pioneering work." --David G. Myers, Ph.D., author of The Pursuit of Happiness"Robert Emmons is the world's leading expert on the psychology of gratitude. . . This is a morally elevating book." --Jonathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis "I am convinced Robert Emmons is right: increasing the national state of gratitude would change the world." --Jim Clifton, Chairman & CEO of The Gallup Organization "Emmons presents clear and practical ways in which everyone can begin to immensely improve their quality of life." --Dallas Willard, Professor of Philosophy at USC as well as author of Renovation of the Heart "Gratitude's benefits should be enough to convince even the most cynical secularist that this emotion is essential for achieving happiness." -- Spirituality & Practice Magazine "A serious, skillful exploration of a current arena of psychological research, by one of the leaders in that emerging field." --Steve Heilig The San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
DR. ROBERT EMMONS is a professor at the University of California, Davis, and one of the leading scholars in the positive psychology movement. He is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology. His work on gratitude has been featured in the Washington Post, the New Republic, Newsweek, and other mainstream media. Dr. Emmons has received multiple grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the John Templeton Foundation.
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I was a little worried I'd find a punitive spirit demanding we look on the bright side, so relieved to say this a realistic, down to earth look at life's challenges, with some workable ideas about how to help yourself and develop the spiritual discipline of giving thanks for all things
I enjoyed Robert A. Emmons writing style, his detailed studies, and his passion for research research. that "Thanks" turned out to be such a useful resource is a bonus
whilst Emmons has added to my Christian spiritual practice, I think people of different faiths would find much to inspire here
unlike the informative books carer's cling on to - either in the hope of the one they care for dipping in, or the understanding gained enabling one to manage caring slightly better, "Thanks" nurtures the reader, and by some mystical power also those in their care
I very much hope this book gets the widest circulation possible, like sunshine and vitamins, Emmons insights deserve to be enjoyed by all
In this book, positive psychology researcher Robert Emmons, who is very well published I might add, will tell you all about the emotional disposition of gratitude- and how cultivating it in your life will not only make you happier, but just plain healthier all the way around!
So what exactly is gratitude anyway? While the defintion depends on who you ask, the book tells that it is helpful to think of it in terms of two stages: the acknowledgement of goodness, and the recognizing that the source of this goodness lies at least partially outside yourself. I never thought of it like that, but it makes all the sense in the world to me.
With that in hand, the book goes on to tell you exactly what gratitude has to do with happiness. As the book explains, there are three main things that determine your happiness: circumstances, genetics, and intentional activities. Cultivating gratitude fits into the happiness equation by being an intentional activity- one you can practice that has been shown to increase happiness levels. But does it REALLY work?
In a word, yes, and I can say this with certainty because the author himself has conducted randomized controlled trials that have proven this. (For those not in the know, the highest form of scientific proof that something actually works is the randomized controlled trial). And so, as you might have guessed, a good portion of the book is spent talking about his, as well as other's research, that will probably convince many, if not all readers, that cultivating gratitiude can not only make one happier, but healthier as well.
But while the book contains it's share of research, it very much leaves the reader with some practical tools by its end. Obstacles that get in the way of gratitude are discussed, as well as some very practical options to incorporate gratitude into your life, keeping a journal being just one example.
My final comment on this book is that if there were more like 'em, this world would truly be a better place. Here is a simple book that convincingly showed me that something as small and easy to do as being thankful, not only has the potential to change a person, but perhaps the rest of the world too. Thanks for a great book!