DAVIS, Calif., March 4, 2013 – Dr. Robert Emmons, research professor and an expert on the scientifically measured benefits of gratitude, is sharing his wisdom based on more than a decade of research in his new book, “Gratitude Works!: 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity,” releasing April 1 from Jossey-Bass.
Some scholars may say science and religion are separate, but Dr. Robert Emmons explores how religious, philosophical and spiritual traditions validate some of the greatest insights in the science of gratitude. For Christians, without an awareness of God’s grace, it is impossible to cultivate gratitude. Emmons’ research has found that through practicing gratitude, a person becomes more sensitive to moments of grace, which will eventually lead to gratefulness. He further shows readers how practices such as fasting, silence and confession can develop a more grateful heart.
“Gratitude maximizes happiness in multiple ways, and one reason why gratitude works is that it helps us reframe memories of unpleasant events in such a way that it decreases their negative emotional impact,” said Emmons.
Gratitude is a way of defining life circumstances. “Our mind often latches on to what is wrong,” said Emmons. “There’s no need to ignore the negative or say life is perfect. But once you have the skill of coping gratefully, you can find a new redemptive frame of reference.”
In “Gratitude Works!,” Emmons shares tools, such as journaling, reflective thinking and letter writing, to obtain the virtue of gratitude, reminding readers that in order to become more grateful, training and practice is required. Gratitude journaling was famously publicized by Oprah Winfrey in the late 1990s but now there is research evidence of what works and what does not. Emmons found that people who keep gratitude journals are 25 percent happier, they sleep one-half hour more per evening and they exercise up to 33 percent more each week compared to those who don’t keep journals.
Gratitude impacts every aspect of life, including spending. Emmons discovered that restaurant bills on which the server writes “thank you” produce tips that are as much as 11 percent higher than do bills without an expression of gratitude.
While mental discipline is mandatory because gratitude is not an easy virtue to accomplish, Emmons says the outcome is worth the effort because gratitude heals, energizes and transforms lives in countless ways and is a key link between receiving and giving.
“Grateful people use words like ‘lucky’ or ‘fortunate’ or ‘blessed,’ ” Emmons said. “They don’t focus on what they’re lacking—they make sure they see the good in what they have.”
“Gratitude Works!” was written to be a trustworthy road map to offer practical advice readers can incorporate into life and work. The book weaves together Emmons’ wisdom with his own research, as well as stories of others who possess the qualities of gratitude, to set individuals on the path to gratefulness.
Dr. Robert Emmons is a research professor at the University of California, Davis, leading scholar in the “positive psychology” movement and expert on the scientifically-measured benefits of gratitude. In addition to “Gratitude Works!,” he is the author of four books. For addition information about “Gratitude Works,” visit http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/Labs/emmons/PWT/index.cfm.
Jossey-Bass, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, Inc, publishes nearly 250 new books, periodicals, and other media to inform and inspire those interested in developing themselves, their organizations and their communities. Jossey-Bass’ publications feature the work of some of the world’s best-known authors in leadership, business, education, religion and spirituality, parenting, nonprofit, public health and health administration, conflict resolution and relationships. Jossey-Bass is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. For additional information, please visit http://www.josseybass.com/WileyCDA/.
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Note to Editors: For a review copy of “Gratitude Works!,” contact Heather Trumpfheller at 972.267.1111 or Heather@alarryross.com.