Gratitude! Oprah made the concept of gratitude very popular when she did a show on it and featured Sarah Ban Breathnach in 1995. She had written a book called "Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy," which was later followed with her "Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude."
I remember watching the show, thinking how excited Oprah was about writing her gratitude journal every day. She recommended to her viewers that they write in their gratitude journals and see how their lives would change.
Oprah generally talks about gratitude in terms of helping her emotional state —and the emotional state of anyone else who was willing to try the process of writing in a gratitude journal.
Now a research study published in the American Psychological Association's journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice shows that gratitude can have a positive impact on heart disease.
According to Psychology Today, gratitude is defined as “an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has, as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants.”
Gratitude involves noticing and appreciating the positive aspects of life. It is part of a positive outlook on life. Gratitude is also commonly seen as an aspect of spirituality, said lead author Paul J. Mills, PhD, professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego.
Previous research has shown that people who considered themselves spiritual often had greater overall well-being, including physical health. So Mills and his team looked at the role of spirituality and gratitude played for patients that had asymptomatic heart failure for at least three months.
These patients with asymptomatic heart failure had a structural change in their heart because of a previous heart attack that damaged the heart cells. It is considered asymptomatic because they don’t show any symptoms.
They chose candidates in the first three months after their heart attacks because that is a critical time to make sure that the heart doesn’t progress to heart failure with symptoms.