3 Sites + 3 Videos on the Health Benefits of Gratitude = My Thanksgiving Gift to You

This time of year, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, we all turn our thoughts toward gratitude for the blessings in our lives.  We ask ourselves and each other, what are you thankful for?

In addition to being an enjoyable annual cultural ritual, gratitude also brings us health benefits!

Licensed photo courtesy Kevin Dooley

Licensed photo courtesy Kevin Dooley

I found several websites and videos on the benefits of gratitude that you will enjoy and may want to share with your faith communities.

  • If you have a website or Facebook page for your faith community, you can share them there.  (If you don’t have one, consider creating one.  You can see mine as an example here.)
  • Or maybe you will take some of the ideas and use them to guide an educational health promotion program on the health benefits of gratitude for your faith community.
  • Maybe you will be sparked with a great idea for next year’s Thanksgiving season.

Let us know what you do in the comments section below, so we don’t each reinvent the wheel for our programs on the health benefits of gratitude.

ATTN: For those of you that would like to begin with the first step of the nursing process, go here to assess how grateful are you?

I’m “more grateful than 85% of the adult, American population.”  Cool! How did you do?

Licensed photo courtesy  Julie Jordan Scott

Licensed photo courtesy Julie Jordan Scott

 Website #1: The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

This is my favorite of all the sites presented in this blog!  It provides a comprehensive and non-religious look at the evidence supporting the health (plus others) benefits of gratitude, all while engaging the reader with an entertaining style.  The best part is an easily understood graphic depiction of how all of these benefits (yes, there are many!) ultimately lead to happiness. And it’s not just a pretty picture, it’s based on 40 research studies.

Licensed photo courtesy BK

Licensed photo courtesy BK

Video #1: The Gratitude Experiment

My favorite video here, this 4 minutes and 43 seconds video uses cute cartoons and background music to present the findings of researcher Dr. Robert Emmons on the health benefits of gratitude. It also suggests 2 “Wellness Exercises” to practice gratitude this week.

Website #2: The Benefits of Gratitude in the Four Quadrants of Life

This site briefly presents the benefits of gratitude from the book, Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life, by Angeles Arrien,PhD. I think you will enjoy much of what is said here.  Please let us know if you have read this book and what you thought about it.

Spirituality gives meaning to life, and spiritual growth is about discovering meaning. Spirituality is often expressed in religious terms, but it is the experience of recognizing states of grace, the transcendent, synchronicity, and that which is sacred or holy; it can be found in nature, silence, art, music, family, and friendship. It can bring wholeness to the emotional, physical, and intellectual dimensions of life. ~Angeles Arrien

Licensed photo courtesy  Rikki's Refuge

Licensed photo courtesy Rikki’s Refuge

Video #2: Benefits of Gratitude

Bill Jacobs of Life Resource Ministries, a Christian organization that provides free resources to children and families, presents the Benefits of Gratitude in this 15 minutes and 40 seconds video. He discusses how the feeling and expression of gratitude brings us mental, emotional, social, and spiritual benefits using real life case presentations of his past clients and from his own life.  The second half in particular focuses on the Christian aspects of gratitude, including scriptural references.

Bill holds a Masters Degree in counseling from Webster University and is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in New Mexico.

Website #3: The Benefits of Gratitude

This site, adapted from an article in Yes magazine, presents the findings of three studies by Dr. Robert Emmons on the health benefits of gratitude, and the findings of Dr. Philip Watkins on the relation between gratitude and depression. It also suggests three simple ways to “build positive momentum toward a more happy and fulfilling life.”

Licensed photo courtesy  Evelyn Lim

Licensed photo courtesy Evelyn Lim

Video #3: Gratitude: Part 1 of 4 by OnenessofTruth

This 11 minutes and 12 seconds video is Part 1 of a 4 part series about “Creating Abundance with Gratitude.” These videos/slides are chock full of wonderful resources and quotes from multi-faith and multi-cultural spiritual leaders, religious texts, philosophers, celebrities, and scientists on gratitude, however they are presented quite blandly. If you can make it through the extremely calming and peaceful voice of the woman who narrates the slides, then you will find this series useful.  This drawback does not outweigh the benefit of the material they present, so give it a try.  If nothing else, you will feel much more relaxed after viewing.

Part One (11:12) focuses on the gifts of gratitude, the new science of gratitude by Dr. Robert Emmons, and shares multi-faith quotes on gratitude.

Part Two (7:14) presents gratitude under all circumstances, barriers to being grateful, gratitude daily teachings by Rhonda Byrne, and affirmations by life coach Susan Gammage.

Part Three (11:12) focuses on gratitude gems, gratitude through trials by ‘Abdu’l-Baha’, how to bring gratitude into your life by Melanie Greenberg, PhD, and 7 secrets to a happy life by John L. Huie.

Part Four (5:46) presents real thankfulness by ‘Abdu’l-Baha’, A Bha’i Perspective.

Wow! I’ve been thinking, reading, and writing about gratitude all day, and boy do I feel grateful right now!  So, let me be the first here to share what I am thankful for.  I hope that you will share your grateful thoughts in the comments as well.

I am thankful for my morning cup of coffee,

My coffee isn't this pretty though.  Licensed photo courtesy  Chung Ho Leung.

My coffee isn’t this pretty though. Licensed photo courtesy Chung Ho Leung.

for music on Pandora’s “Progressive House Radio” channel,

that keeps me going on long drives and tired nights of reading and writing with tracks like this…

for my family, especially my husband

(he probably wouldn’t be too happy if I put his photo here, so I’ll spare him and just use a generic photo of a family, a large one because my gratitude extends beyond my immediate family, without them there is no way I’d make it through this doctoral program.)

Licensed photo courtesy Lauren Kerns

Licensed photo courtesy Lauren Kerns

for my awesome crew of volunteer nurses & students

with the Parish Nursing Ministry of First Congregational Church of West Haven, CT

Students (and me) from Stone Academy in West Haven  at the Apple Festival BP Screen Tent

Students (and me) from Stone Academy in West Haven at the Apple Festival BP Screen Tent

and I am infinitely grateful for divine inspiration,

especially for the flow of creative energy in writing these frequent blogs in the upcoming last few weeks of ICM522 at Quinnipiac University!  I pray for the inspiration to continue!

I could keep going, but enough about me…

Your Turn, please share…”I am grateful for…”



About courtholmes

Nurse Practitioner, Faith Community Nurse, Parish Nurse, Certified Wound Specialist, DNP Student at Quinnipiac University, Social Media Enthusiast... Passionate about integrating faith and health! CT Faith Community Nurses on Twitter @CTFCN

Posted on November 18, 2014, in Inspiration, Program Ideas, Resources, Spiritual and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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