Posted in writing

ONE SIMPLE ACT: The Science of Gratitude

I began this year’s blog with a posting on An Attitude of Gratitude, see Therefore, it seems fitting that I should end the year again discussing Gratitude; this time in the service of Generosity. These discussions will be aligned with Debbie MaComber’s book entitled One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity. MaComber states,

 “Practicing an attitude of gratitude spills over to acts of generosity.”

 The Science of Gratitude has been the subject of many studies. Some findings included that people who kept a gratitude journal on a weekly basis:

  • Exercised more regularly,
  • Reported  fewer illness symptoms,
  • Made better progress toward their personal goals,
  • Had higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy,
  • Helped someone with a personal problem or offered emotional support,
  • Felt better about their life, and
  • Were more optimistic overall than those who did not keep a Gratitude Journal.

In a study of adults with neuromuscular diseases, those who kept a Gratitude      Journal for 21 days reported

  • Greater energy,
  • More positive moods,
  • Greater sense of feeling connected to others, and
  • Better sleep duration and quality

In another study, it was determined that people who concentrated on gratitude for 15 minutes each day:

  • Increased the body’s natural antibodies and
  • Induced a state of resonance for healthier blood pressure and heart rate

December is a perfect time to start a gratitude journal. With all the stresses and joys of the holiday season, take a few minutes each day to remember why you are grateful.

Action Step 1:              Each day write 5 things for which you are grateful.

Action Step 2:              Find at least 1 new thing each day for which to offer praise.

Try it this busy season and let me know how it works for you.

Cite: D. Macomber. (2009). One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity. New York. Howard Books.



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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