Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

One thing that is always clear at open water swimming competitions and at marathon swims: there is an overabundance of gratitude.

Swimmers are grateful to race volunteers, escort pilots, and their support crew.

Crew members are appreciative of the opportunity to help out.

Pilots are thankful for having a cooperative crew.

Race volunteers are happy to serve a greater cause or the greater good.

Because of an interesting and thought-provoking study in Indiana University led by Prathik Kini, all this ubiquitousness of gratefulness leads to even more good.

Something as simple as writing down three things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days in a row significantly increases your level of optimism, and it holds for the next six months. The research is amazing,” Harvard researcher Shawn Achor told Inc.com that reported other studies show gratitude increases willpower and a sense of calmness.

Showing and practicing gratitude seems to come quite easily and naturally to open water swimmers. Based on those observations and the recent research results from Indiana, this attitude is a great way to augment the physiological healthfulness of open water swimming with a healthful and happier psychological perspective of living…

…a classic win-win situation.

Photo from Vasanti Niemz above from Dover, England shows Freda Streeter, Barry Wakeham, and Irene Wakeham.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association