The Science of Gratitude

gratitude and appreciation

Numerous studies over the years have confirmed a link between a positive attitude and a healthy body. A leading researcher in the field of the psychology of gratitude, Robert A. Emmons, along with Michael E. McCullough have conducted experimental studies in the field. Their research has shown that grateful people report:

  • Improvements in mood and lower levels of depression and stress
  • Better physiological health, including enhanced quality of sleep
  • Increased energy
  • A sense of connectedness with others
  • Greater satisfaction with life in general

Who knew that “Thank You” could be so powerful! Want to see what gratitude can do for you?
Here are a few tips to start benefiting from the effects of gratitude right now:

1) Start a Gratitude journal. Your goal is to find five things to be grateful for every day. At the end of the day, write the five things down in your journal. It can be as simple as being grateful that you have a job or that your family is healthy. Don’t compare yourself to others; when you do this, negative thoughts start to creep in. Focus on YOUR life!
2) Experience what life has to offer without a price tag attached, such as a sunrise or sunset. If you are lucky enough to live near the mountains or the ocean, take a walk and be grateful for the beautiful scenery around you.
3) Make a commitment to being more grateful. Start each day saying “I am grateful”. Before long, you will realize that you are looking for things to write down in your gratitude journal!

For more thoughts on gratitude, I strongly suggest reading Thanks: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Dr. Emmons.