04_How & Why Gratitude Heals

Gratitude is the only thing that has been found to actually increase your baseline happiness, called dispositional happiness. Other things, such as self-medication, will cause a temporary increase in happiness, but then you return to the baseline. But over time gratitude increases dispositional well-being, or happiness, permanently!

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LOVE the Word® is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice: lectio without the Latin. Get the book based on Sonja’s method in the right margin, How to Pray Like Mary.  

L | Listen (Receive the Word via audio or video.)

O | Observe (Connect the passage to your life and recent events.)

Which of the strategies for practicing gratitude do you feel most drawn to? Can you implement each one? Is it surprising that God made thanksgiving good for us? What do you want to say to Him about that? 

V | Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)

Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word® journal. Or, get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.

E | Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)

Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude. Thank you for all of the graces and blessings You have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: our faith and religious heritage; our food and shelter; our health; the loves we have for one another, our families and friends. Dear Father, in Your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessings throughout the coming year. This we ask in the Name of Jesus, Your Son and our Savior, through Whom all blessing from You is possible. Amen. +

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What We Discussed | Show Notes

Links to 198 studies on gratitude.


Minutes 00:00-12:00 –  reviewing the difference between gratitude and thanksgiving; understanding dispositional gratitude and dispositional happiness 

Minutes 12:01-24:00 – research findings on how and why gratitude affects happiness 

Minutes 24:01-36:00 – more studies and their findings; strategies for practicing gratitude: saying “thank you,” writing letters, gratitude journal

Minutes 36:01-48:00 – Ignatius Examen, counting the steps, smile, reframing, random acts of kindness (love bombs); the meaning of charity; creation thanks God


Click here for a transcript of the show.