Benefits of Gratitude

GratitudeWhat are the Benefits of Gratitude?

Research shows numerous benefits, including its strong and consistent association with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Quite a payback, don’t you think?

More specifically, researchers at UC Davis discovered those who practice grateful thinking have fewer symptoms of illness, see their doctors less, exercise more, and feel better about their lives as a whole.

In another study at the University of Pennsylvania, participants wrote and personally delivered a letter to someone who had never been thanked for his or her kindness. The participants immediately showed a huge increase in their happiness scores – with benefits lasting for a month.

In relationships, a study found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.

Wharton School of Business found managers who remember to say “thank you” to people who work for them may find those employees feel motivated to work harder. For example, a group of fund-raisers received a pep talk from the director of annual giving who told them she was grateful for their efforts. Those who heard the positive message made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who didn’t.

Aren’t the benefits of gratitude a huge payoff for a small effort? Although it’s customary to express gratitude on Thanksgiving Day, how many people continue it past that one day? Are you curious how additional gratitude might improve your life? It doesn’t matter what your current level of gratitude, you can cultivate it further and experience the benefits. Apply it to past experiences, current situations, or the future and see what happens.

As you explore adding gratitude to your life, consider creating one or more of these habits:

• Say “thank you” to at least one person a day
• Post on a social media site one thing you’re grateful for each day
• Say either aloud or to yourself at least five things you’re grateful for each day
• Write daily in a gratitude journal at least five things for which you’re grateful
• Send a thank you note each day or each week
• Leave thank you notes for the loved ones in your home
• Leave thank you notes for your employees and co-workers
• Take 10 – 15 minutes to go on a gratitude binge and identify everything for
which you’re grateful
• If you don’t already have a Thanksgiving gratitude ritual, start one this year

For further inspiration on the benefits of gratitude, read John Kralik’s personal journey: A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life.

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