According to the “Harvard Mental Health Letter,” gratitude is “a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.” It’s recognizing what’s good in our lives.
Research has found that making gratitude a habit has many benefits. Here are 5 of them.
1. Increased happiness
Psychologist Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania found in a study that people who wrote and delivered a letter of gratitude to a person who hadn’t been thanked for something kind they did, displayed large increases in happiness scores that lasted as long as a month.
2. Increased optimism
Psychologists Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami conducted a study and found that people who wrote a bit each week about the good things that had happened during the week - the things they were grateful for - were more likely to feel better about their lives and be more optimistic.
3. More likely to keep physically healthy
Emmons and McCullough also found that those practicing gratitude exercised more and spent less time at the doctor.
4. Improved relationships
Another study found that people who expressed gratitude for their partners felt more positivity toward the other person and felt more comfortable discussing relationship concerns.
5. Improved workplace morale
Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania found that people who received a pep talk from their managers that included the manager’s gratitude for the employees, were 50% more productive than those who did not receive the pep talk.
I definitely feel more motivated when others recognize my efforts and thank me for it.
These have been 5 reasons someone might want to make the time to be grateful each day. For me, that looks like jotting down a few things I’m grateful for each morning. You can do whatever works for you. Talk about it with a partner or friend, think about it for a few minutes at the start of your day, etc.
What you’re grateful for is up to you. It can be as simple as “I’m grateful for this cup of coffee I’m drinking,” or as heavy as “I’m so grateful that I have such a loving and supportive partner.”
What’s one thing you’re grateful for in this moment? Please comment below! I'm so grateful today for the sunshine and this platform I have to converse with others who interested in topics like this!
Article referenced: In Praise of Gratitude