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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The gift of gratitude

Thankfulness expressed through faith leads to more happiness, less stress

Gratitude plays a central role in our faith. The Psalms are filled with poems of thanksgiving, and Jesus gave thanks to God throughout his ministry. From our table prayers to the gifts we give at church, families weave expressions of thankfulness into their daily lives.

designpicsIncreasingly, social scientists are documenting that gratitude — including the Lutheran perspective that all of life is a gift of grace from God — results in higher levels of happiness and lower stress levels.

"Highly grateful people have a worldview in which everything they have and life itself is a gift," said Robert Emmons, a leader in the study of gratitude and a psychology professor at the University of California–Davis. "Grateful people are less likely to experience envy, anger, resentment, regret and other unpleasant states that produce stress and thwart positive emotions."


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