The Miracle Drug

By Anthony Gold

Would you like to sleep better, decrease stress, improve your health, be less depressed, and feel happier?

Then read on.

It works immediately, has no side-effects, and there is no risk of overdosing. Nor do you need a doctor’s prescription to realize its benefits.

No, this isn’t an advertisement for a pharmaceutical product, nor is it something you can buy over-the-counter.

As a matter of fact, its supply is unlimited and it costs nothing.

Sounds like a scam, doesn’t it?

Not only is this real, but the scientific research behind its efficacy is solid. So, what is this “miracle drug”?


Simply cultivating a mindset of gratitude has outstanding physiological and psychological effects. Researchers at University of California, Davis found that listing five things per week for which people felt grateful led to improved health and happiness.

Psychologists at Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and other prestigious institutions found that consistently practicing gratitude led to dramatically improved immune systems, lower blood pressure, less loneliness, and significantly higher levels of joy and optimism.

David Steindl-Rast, a Catholic Benedictine monk, suggests that the connection between happiness and gratitude is not that happy people are consequently grateful. Rather, grateful people are spontaneously happy. And the data supports his theory.

Says Steindl-Rast, “We all know people who have lots of misfortune. Misfortune that we ourselves would not want to have. And yet they are deeply happy. They radiate happiness. Why? Because they’re grateful.”

Being grateful isn’t hard to do. The challenge is stepping back from all the noise, chaos, and drama and asking ourselves, “What really matters? How can I see this differently?”

By not choosing a mindset of gratitude, we are adrift on the seas of suffering, sadness, and solitude.

Only appreciation is an appropriate response to your brother. Gratitude is due him for both his loving thoughts and his appeals for help, for both are capable of bringing love into your awareness if you perceive them truly. And all your sense of strain comes from your attempts not to do just this. (T-12.I.6)

An easy way to get started is by keeping a gratitude journal. Simply record at the end of each day (or each week) a few points noting experiences for which you are grateful. It could be a listening ear from a friend, the sensation of a particular emotion, or the opportunity to help someone in need.

What are you grateful for today?

Join us in Monday’s class where we’ll explore these topics and discuss how we can practice true gratitude and thereby experience “spontaneous happiness”. I look forward to seeing you then.

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