The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

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Do you want more from your life?

More happiness? Better health? Deeper relationships? Increased productivity?

What if I told you that just one thing can help you in all of those areas?

An Attitude of Gratitude

What the heck? Gratitude? Is this a Christian blog?

No. I’m not even religious. When I first started looking into gratitude, I wasn’t expecting much.

I was wrong:

The 31 Benefits of Gratitude

Seriously? All that? Yes. This list of benefits was compiled by aggregating the results of more than 40 research studies on gratitude.

1. Gratitude makes us happier.

A five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent.a1,a2,a3 That’s the same impact as doubling your income!a4

How can a free five minute activity compare? Gratitude improves our health, relationships, emotions, personality, and career.

Sure, having more money can be pretty awesome, but because of hedonic adaptation we quickly get used to it and stop having as much fun and happiness as we did at first.

Effect of Gratitude Journal

How can 5 minutes a day have such a large impact? (click to show)

Gratitude makes us feel more gratitude.

This is why a five-minute a week gratitude journal can make us so much happier. The actual gratitude produced during those five minutes is small, but the emotions of gratitude felt during those five-minutes are enough to trigger a grateful mood.

While in a grateful mood, we will feel gratitude more frequently, when we do feel gratitude it will be more intense and held for longer, and we will feel gratitude for more things at the same time.

In five words – gratitude triggers positive feedback loops.

Hedonic what?

After repeated exposure to the same emotion-producing stimulus, we tend to experience less of the emotion. Put more simply, we get use to the good things that happen to us. This also means that we get use to the bad things that happen to us. Those who have been disabled have a remarkable ability to rebound – initially they may feel terrible, but after months or years they are on average just as happy as everyone else.

Hedonic adaptation gives unparalleled resiliency and keeps us motivated to achieve ever greater things. It also kills our marriages – we get use to our amazing spouse (or kids, or job, or house, or car, or game). We stop seeing as much positive and start complaining. It is a psychological imperative to fight hedonic adaptation if we want to maximize happiness. Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal.

Why does it take several months?

In all relevant studies, changes occurred slowly. It took several months of continuous practice for the largest benefits to appear. This is for two reasons:

  1. Cultivating gratitude is a skill. After three months of practice, I now have the ability to self-generate slight feelings of gratitude and happiness on command. With more time and practice, I expect the intensity and duration of the generated feelings to increase.
  2. Gratitude is a personality trait. Some people have more grateful personalities than others. Daily gratitude practice can change our personality, but that takes a long time.

2. Gratitude makes people like us.

Gratitude generates social capital – in two studies with 243 total participants, those who were 10% more grateful than average had 17.5% more social capital.b1

Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends, deepen our existing relationships, and improve our marriage.b2

Bonus question: Is that first picture actually of me? Hm… I wonder…

Answer:

Obviously not. I’m a handsome, healthy, and popular young man. I would never be working alone in the dark on my computer writing a blog post.

3. Gratitude makes us healthier.

Check it out:

Health Benefits of Gratitude: Improved Sleep, Fitness, Mental Health, and More

There is even reason to believe gratitude can extend your lifespan by a few months or even years.f2,f3,f4

4. Gratitude boosts our career.

Gratitude makes you a more effective manager,c1,c2 helps you network, increases your decision making capabilities, increases your productivity, and helps you get mentors and proteges.b1 As a result, gratitude helps you achieve your career goals, as well as making your workplace a more friendly and enjoyable place to be.a2, b2

Do you think this is effective?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlnObIFBCY4

I’m not suggesting that criticism and self-focus don’t have a place in the workplace, but I think we’re overdoing it.

65% of Americans didn’t receive recognition in the workplace last year.c3

5. Gratitude strengthens our emotions.

Gratitude reduces feelings of envy, makes our memories happier, lets us experience good feelings, and helps us bounce back from stress.b2,d1,d2,d3

6. Gratitude develops our personality.

It really does, and in potentially life-changing ways.a2,b2,d2,e1,e2

Personality Benefits, Like Optimism and Less Materialism, of Gratitude

If you’re a man, don’t worry; gratitude won’t transform you into a woman.

Convinced of the benefits? Sign up for The Gratitude Hack, the course I created with the sole focus of helping you live a happier, more grateful life.

 

Not convinced? Want to know the details or explore the science that backs up these claims? Click below to go to the specific category or benefit that interests you, or just continue scrolling.

 

Click here to jump to the comments section.


Personality



7. Gratitude makes us more optimistic.

Gratitude is strongly correlated with optimism. Optimism in turn makes us happier, improves our health, and has been shown to increase lifespan by as much as a few years.f1,f2,f3,f4 I’d say a 5 minute a day gratitude journal would be worth it just for this benefit.

Show me the science. (click to show)

  • In one study of keeping a weekly gratitude journal, participants showed a 5% increase in optimism.a2
  • In another study, keeping a daily gratitude journal resulted in a 15% increase in optimism.a2
  • Optimism is significantly correlated with gratitude (r=.51).e2 The above studies show that it isn’t just correlation – increasing one’s level of gratitude increases one’s level of optimism.
How does gratitude increase optimism? (click to show)

The act of gratitude is the act of focusing on the good in life. If we perceive our current life to have more good, we will also believe our future life to have more good. Optimism is correlated with gratitude because those with an optimistic disposition are biologically more likely to focus on the good (gratitude) than on the bad (personal disappointment, anxiety, etc…).


8. Gratitude reduces materialism.

Materialism is strongly correlated with reduced well-being and increased rates of mental disorder.g1 There’s nothing wrong with wanting more. The problem with materialism is that it makes people feel less competent, reduces feelings of relatedness and gratitude, reduces their ability to appreciate and enjoy the good in life, generates negative emotions, and makes them more self-centered.g1,g2,g3

Why is materialism negatively correlated with happiness and well-being?

The pursuit of wealth and power has been shown in dozens of studies to be a highly inefficient method of increasing well-being and happiness. To be sure, if your income doubles you will be slightly happier. But how much effort do you think is involved in doubling your income? How many sacrifices are required? Motivational speakers will tell you that the money is worth the sacrifices. I disagree.

Applying that same level of energy towards strengthening one’s relationships, cultivating compassion and gratitude, and so on much more reliably creates positive, transformative change.

Said differently, material success is not a very important factor in the happiness of highly grateful people.

How does gratitude reduce materialism?

Materialism flows from two sources: role models and insecurity.

  1. Americans are inundated with materialistic role models every day: from advertisements which highlight materialistic themes, to celebrity culture which glorifies the rich and frivolous, to business culture in which we are told our dreams should be to be rich and powerful. Gratitude helps by reducing our tendency to compare ourselves to those with a higher social status.
  2. Those who are insecure, that is, those that have not had their basic psychological needs met (e.g. those who lack confidence, come from a poor background, or had unsupportive parents), are more likely to be materialistic. Gratitude is an effective strategy for reducing insecurity. A grateful emotion is triggered when we perceive an act of benevolence directed towards us.  Those who are dispositionally ungrateful are therefore less likely to perceive acts of benevolence, even if they are surrounded by a loving environment. Flipped around, those who cultivate an attitude of gratitude are more likely to perceive an environment of benevolence, which in turn causes their brains to assume they are in an environment full of social support, which in turn kills insecurity and materialism.
Will gratitude make me lazy?

Those who are more materialistic are more likely to relentlessly pursue wealth. So while gratitude won’t make you lazy, over your lifetime you may end up earning less money. You will instead re-focus on other things. You may, for example, spend time with friends, family, and your hobbies. That’s a good thing.

)

Regret #2: Working too hard.

Gratitude has caused me to focus less on things that don’t matter, like making money, and more on the things that do, like my family and this blog. I think that’s a good thing.


9. Gratitude increases spiritualism. 

Spiritual transcendence is highly correlated with feelings of gratitude. That is – the more spiritual you are, the more likely you are to be grateful.

This is for two reasons:

  1. All major religions espouse gratitude as a virtue.h1
  2. Spirituality spontaneously gives rise to grateful behavior.

I believe the opposite to also be true, that gratitude spontaneously gives rise to spiritual attribution, helping one feel closer to God or other religious entities. I am irreligious, and have found gratitude practices to make my spiritual position difficult – those moments when I feel intense gratitude make me want to believe in a benevolent God. My solution has been to re-direct my feelings towards Lady Luck.

Why does spirituality give rise to grateful behavior?

Many of the sub-traits associated with spirituality are the same sub-traits associated with gratitude. For example, spiritual individuals are more likely to feel a strong spiritual or emotional connection with others, and to believe in inter-connectedness. Both are prerequisites for feeling gratitude – someone who feels weak connections with others, and who believes in the illusion of self-sufficiency is unlikely to feel gratitude.


10. Gratitude makes us less self-centered. 

I’ll be totally honest, I’m a self-centered twat. I’m a lot better now that I’ve brought gratitude into my life, but I still spend way too much time thinking about myself, and too little thinking about others. I expect this to change – because of my compassion and gratitude practices I am starting to have spontaneous urges to help others.

This is because the very nature of gratitude is to focus on others (on their acts of benevolence). In this regard, gratitude practice can be better than self-esteem therapy. Self-esteem therapy focuses the individual back on themselves: I’m smart, I look good, I can succeed, etc….

That can work, but it can also make us narcissistic or even back-fire and lower self-esteem.i1


11. Gratitude increases self-esteem.  

Imagine a world where no one helps you. Despite your asking and pleading, no one helps you.

Now imagine a world where many people help you all of the time for no other reason than that they like you. In which world do you think you would have more self-esteem? Gratitude helps to create a world like that.

How does gratitude create a more supportive social dynamic?

Gratitude does this in two ways:

  1. Gratitude has been shown in multiple studies to make people kinder and more friendly, and that because of that, grateful people have more social capital. This means that grateful people are actually more likely to receive help from others for no reason other than that they are liked and appreciated.
  2. Gratitude increases your recognition of benevolence. For example, a person with low self-esteem may view an act of kindness with a skeptical eye, thinking that the benefactor is trying to get something from them. A grateful person would take the kindness at face value, believing themselves to be a person worthy of receiving no-strings-attached kindness.


Health


12. Gratitude improves your sleep.

Gratitude increases sleep quality, reduces the time required to fall asleep, and increases sleep duration. Said differently, gratitude can help with insomnia.a2,j1

The key is what’s on our minds as we’re trying to fall asleep. If it’s worries about the kids, or anxiety about work, the level of stress in our body will increase, reducing sleep quality, keeping us awake, and cutting our sleep short.

If it’s thinking about a few things we have to be grateful for today, it will induce the relaxation response, knock us out, and keep us that way.

Yes – gratitude is a (safe and free) sleep aid.

I don’t believe you!

In one study of 65 subjects with a chronic pain condition, those who were assigned a daily gratitude journal to be completed at night reported half an hour more sleep than the control group.a2

In another study of 400 healthy people, those participants who had higher scores on a gratitude test also had significantly better sleep. They reported faster time to sleep, improved sleep quality, increased sleep duration, and less difficulty staying awake during the day.j1 This is not because their life was simply better – levels of gratitude are more dependent on personality and life perspective than on life situation.


13. Gratitude keeps you away from the doctor.

Gratitude can’t cure cancer (neither can positive-thinking), but it can strengthen your physiological functioning.

Positive emotion improves health. The details are complicated, but the overall picture is not – if you want to improve your health, improve your mind. This confidence comes from 137 research studies.

Gratitude is a positive emotion. It’s no far stretch that some of the benefits (e.g. better coping & management of terminal conditions like cancer and HIV,k1,k2 faster recovery from certain medical procedures, positive changes in immune system functioning,k3 more positive health behavior,k4,k5 etc…) apply to gratitude as well.

In fact, some recent science shows just that – those who engage in gratitude practices have been shown to feel less pain, go to the doctor less often, have lower blood pressure, and be less likely to develop a mental disorder.a1,a2,k6

How does gratitude improve my health?

The science on how is still unclear. Here are two ideas:

  • Gratitude reduces levels of stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Stress in turn has been shown to disrupt healthy body functioning (e.g disrupting the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, the immune system, our sleep, etc…).
  • Gratitude encourages pro-health behavior like exercising and paying attention to health risks.


14. Gratitude lets you live longer.

I will be honest with you – by combining the results of a few different studies I’m confident that gratitude can extend lifespan, but no single study as yet has actually proven this claim.

Here is what we know: optimism and positive emotion in general have been used to successfully predict mortality decades later.f2,f3,f4 The optimistic lived a few years longer than the pessimistic. A few years may not sound like much, but I know when I’m about to die I’d like to have a few more years!

We also know that gratitude is strongly correlated with positive emotion. So, gratitude –> positive emotion –> an extra few months or years on earth. With positive psychology research on the rise, I believe we can expect this claim to be rigorously tested within the next five to ten years.


15. Gratitude increase your energy levels.

Gratitude and vitality are strongly correlated – the grateful are much more likely to report physical and mental vigor.

Show me the data.

  • Study of 238 people found a correlation of .46 between vitality and gratitude.e2
  • Study of 1662 people found a correlation of .38 between vitality and gratitude. Same study found correlations above .3 even after controlling for the levels of: extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, and perceived social desirability.e2   This means that vitality and gratitude are strongly correlated even after considering the possibility that they are correlated because high-energy people and high-gratitude people share personality traits like extroversion in common.
Do people with more energy tend to experience more gratitude, does gratitude lead to increased energy, or is something else going on?

I believe it’s two of those three:

  1. People with high levels of vitality tend to have some of the same traits that highly grateful people do, like high levels of optimism and life satisfaction.
  2. Gratitude increases physical and mental well-being, which in turn increases energy levels.


16. Gratitude makes you more likely to exercise.

In one 11-week study of 96 Americans, those who were instructed to keep a weekly gratitude journal exercised 40 minutes more per week than the control group.a2 No other study has yet to replicate these results. It could be because other gratitude studies testing this effect have been much shorter – in the range of one to three weeks, or it could be because this result was a fluke.

Once again, time will tell – but it would not surprise me if being grateful for one’s health would increase one’s tendency to want to protect it by exercising more.


Emotional



17. Gratitude helps us bounce back.

 
Those that have more gratitude have a more pro-active coping style, are more likely to have and seek out social support in times of need, are less likely to develop PTSD, and are more likely to grow in times of stress.b1,b2,d1

In others words, they are more resilient.

18. Gratitude makes us feel good. 

Surprise, surprise: gratitude actually feels good. Yet only 20% of Americans rate gratitude as a positive and constructive emotion (compared to 50% of Europeans).l1

According to gratitude researcher Robert Emmons, gratitude is just happiness that we recognize after-the fact to have been caused by the kindness of others.  Gratitude doesn’t just make us happier, it is happiness in and of itself!

That’s no surprise – we idealize the illusion of self-sufficiency. Gratitude, pah! That’s for the weak.

F&ck no it’s not. Gratitude feels good, and if the benefits on this page are any indication – gratitude will make you stronger, healthier, and more successful.

Are you afraid to admit that luck, God, family members, friends, and/or strangers have and will continue to strongly influence your life? I once was – not only was I less happy, I was also weaker. It takes strength to admit to the truth of inter-dependency.


19. Gratitude makes our memories happier. 


Our memories are not set in stone, like data stored on a hard-drive. There are dozens of ways our memories get changed over time – we remember things as being worse than they actually were, as being longer or shorter, people as being kinder or crueler, as being more or less interesting, and so on.

Experiencing gratitude in the present makes us more likely to remember positive memories,m1 and actually transforms some of our neutral or even negative memories into positive ones.m2 In one study, putting people into a grateful mood helped them find closure of upsetting open memories.m2 During these experiences, participants were more likely to recall positive aspects of the memory than usual, and some of the negative and neutral aspects were transformed into positives.

What’s going on with my memory!?

It’s called cognitive biases. Here are two great books on the subject: Thinking, Fast and Slow (written by the founder of behavioral economics, Daniel Kahneman), and Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me).


20. Gratitude reduces feelings of envy.


A small bit of jealousy or envy directed at the right target is motivating. Too much produces feelings of insecurity, materialism, inferiority, distrust, and unhappiness.

How does gratitude reduce feelings of envy?

The personality trait of envy has a correlation of -.39 with the personality trait of gratitude. In addition, on days when people experience more gratitude, they are also more likely to experience less envy.e2

This is likely because an attitude of envy and an attitude of gratitude are largely incompatible. Just like it is impossible to feel optimistic and pessimistic at the same time, gratitude is the act of perceiving benevolence, while envy and jealousy is the act of perceiving inadequacy. Benevolence and inadequacy cannot be completely perceived at the same time.


21. Gratitude helps us relax.

Gratitude and positive emotion in general are among the strongest relaxants known to man. I was having trouble sleeping a few nights ago because I was too stressed and couldn’t relax. I’ll be honest, for the few minutes that I was able to hold feelings of gratitude I almost fell asleep, but holding feelings of gratitude is hard! In this case, too hard – I ended up getting out of bed.

Gratitude may be just as or even more effective than relaxation methods such as deep breathing, but because it is also more difficult, is unfeasible as an actual relaxation technique. Think of it like tea – one or two cups help you relax – three of four make you want to empty your bladder.   But it could just be me. Perhaps you’ll find practices of gratitude more natural and easy.


Social


22. Gratitude makes you friendlier.

Multiple studies have shown that gratitude induces pro-social behavior. Keeping a gratitude journal is enough to make you more likely to help others with their problems and makes you more likely to offer them emotional support.a2,b1

Why?

There are two main reasons.

  1. Gratitude helps us perceive kindness, which we have a natural tendency to want to reciprocate. Without the feeling of gratitude, we may not recognize when someone is helping us (the same way anger lets us know when someone is trying to harm us).
  2. Gratitude makes us happier and more energetic, both of which are highly linked to pro-social behavior.


23. Gratitude helps your marriage. 

I’ve never been married, but from what I’ve heard, read, and seen, one way marriages start to suffer is that when the passion starts to fizzle, the partners become less appreciative and more naggy.

Scientists have put numbers to our intuition and experience, creating an appreciation to naggy ratio. More formally called the Losada ratio, it divides the total number of positive expressions (support, encouragement and appreciation) made during a typical interaction by the number of negative expressions (disapproval, sarcasm, and cynicism).

When the ratio was below .9, that is there were 11% more negative expressions than positive expressions, marriages plummeted towards divorce or languishment. Those marriages that lasted and were found satisfying were those with a positivity ratio above 5.1 (five positive expressions to each negative).s1

Building regular practices of gratitude into your marriage is an easy but effective way of raising your positivity ratio.

Correlation or causality?

Does the positivity ratio actually change the dynamics of a marriage, or does it simply reflect underlying happiness or conflict? Would ‘faking’ a higher positivity ratio actually change the dynamics of your marriage, or would it be the same as faking your income on a survey – it may let you temporarily feel better, but it doesn’t actually make you any richer?

There is reason to believe it is both. What we say and how we act becomes who we are. Faking a smile has been shown to actually make people happier. But the effect is only so strong. I believe that for gratitude to truly effect a marriage, it must come from the heart. With enough practice and effort, it can.

P.S. You shouldn’t take the numbers too literally. A good rule of thumb is three or four positives for each negative means you’re doing well.


24. Gratitude makes you look good.

Ingratitude is universally regarded with contempt.  It’s opposite, gratitude, is considered a virtue in all major religions and most modern cultures. It may not be sexy to be grateful, but people will respect you for it.

Gratitude is not the same thing as indebtedness, which we rightly avoid. Indebtedness is a negative emotion which carries an assumption of repayment.

Gratitude is not the same thing as weakness. Weakness is flattery or subservience.

Gratitude is the acknowledgment of kindness with thanks.

It takes big balls to acknowledge that we didn’t get to where we are all on our own – that without others we may never have made it. That’s why, just maybe, gratitude may be sexy too.


25. Gratitude helps you make friends.

When I was in college I found it really easy to make new friends. If I hadn’t moved out of NYC it would still be easy – living in a farm town makes it difficult. I’ve found an effective way to start a conversation or move a relationship forward is an expression of gratitude, “thank you for that coffee, it was super delicious.” *wink, wink*

Ah, my mistake – that’s actually what I use to hit on my barista.

But you get the point.


26. Gratitude deepens friendships.

I have one friend who always deeply thanks me for taking the time to see her. That makes me feel appreciated and that makes me feel good. Wouldn’t it make you feel good too?


Career



27. Gratitude makes you a more effective manager. 

Effective management requires a toolbox of skills. Criticism comes all too easily to most, while the ability to feel gratitude and express praise is often lacking.

Timely, sincere, specific, behavior focused praise is often a more powerful method of influencing change than criticism. Specifically, multiple studies have found expressions of gratitude to be highly motivating, while expressions of criticism to be slightly de-motivating but providing more expectation clarification.t1,t2

Contrary to expectation, if praise is moderate and behavior focused, repeat expressions of gratitude will not lose their impact, and employee performance will increase.2

Because of our culture, expressions of gratitude are often difficult to give – cultivating an attitude of gratitude will help.

I’ve seen firsthand the powerful difference between interacting with subordinates more with praise, and interacting with some more with criticism. Those I’ve given more praise are more enthusiastic about working with me, express more creativity, and are so much more fun to work with.

More Info: The Science of Praise: A Manager’s Guide To Giving Effective Employee Praise


28. Gratitude helps you network. 

Gratitude has been shown across a number of studies to increase social behavior. Two longitudinal studies showed that those with higher levels of gratitude actually developed more social capital than those with lower levels.

Gratitude helps you get mentors, proteges, and benefactors.

Those who are more grateful are more likely to help others, and to pay it forward, that is, to take on mentoring relationships. But I’m guessing you care more about getting help from mentors and benefactors than being a mentor yourself. Well, that makes sense – having one or more mentors dramatically increases one’s success rate.

The first level is simple – those who are grateful are more social and also more likely to ask for help. But it goes one step further – we all ask for help at one time, one of the key differences between one-off help and establishing a mentoring relationship is gratitude.

Flipped around, what is it that makes a person want to help you on a continuous basis? Gratitude – when their wisdom, experience, and time are well appreciated, mentors will find enjoyment from the process, continuing to help you for weeks, months, or years.


29. Gratitude increases your goal achievement. 

In one study, participants were asked to write down those goals which they wished to accomplish over the next two months. Those who were instructed to keep a gratitude journal reported more progress on achieving their goals at the end of the study. One result doesn’t make science – what you should take away from this is that, at the least, gratitude will not make you lazy and passive. It might even do the opposite!


30. Gratitude improves your decision making.

Decision making is really tiring – so tiring that we automate to our subconscious much of the reasoning that goes behind making a decision. Even for the most basic of decisions, like where to go eat, there are dozens of variables to consider: how much time and money do I want to spend, what cuisine would I like today, am I willing to travel far, what should I get once I get there, and so on. If you deliberated on each of these decisions one at a time, your mind would be overwhelmed.

The problem gets even worse for more complex decisions like making a diagnosis.

In one study, doctors were given a list of ailments from a hypothetical patient and also given a misleading piece of information—that the patient had been diagnosed at another hospital as having lupus. Half the doctors had gratitude evoked by giving them a token of appreciation. Those who did not receive a token of appreciation were more likely to stick with the incorrect diagnosis of lupus; those who did receive the gratitude were energized to expend more energy and to pay their gratitude forward onto their patient. They also considered a wider range of treatment options.

The above study shows that gratitude motivates improved decision making. Those who cultivate an attitude of gratitude find tokens of appreciation every day, on their own.


31. Gratitude increases your productivity.

Those who are insecure have difficulty focusing because many of their mental resources are tied up with their worries. On the other hand, those who are highly confident are able to be more productive, because they can direct more of their focus towards their work. This operates at both a conscious and subconscious level – we may be getting mentally distracted by our worries, or more commonly, parts of our subconscious mind are expending energy to suppress negative information and concerns.z1

As gratitude has been shown to increase self-esteem and reduce insecurity, this means that it can help us focus and improve our productivity.

Gratitude is no cure-all, but it is a massively underutilized tool for improving life-satisfaction and happiness.

Convinced of the benefits? Read this post: How Grateful Are You? Interactive Quiz + Seven Strategies for Cultivating Gratitude

 

References

a1. Positive Psychology Progress (2005, Seligman, M. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C.)
a2. Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life
a3. Gratitude Uniquely Predicts Satisfaction with Life: Incremental Validity Above the Domains and Facets of the Five Factor Model
a4. Sacks, D. W., Stevenson, B., & Wolfers, J. (2012). The new stylized facts about income and subjective well-being. Emotion, 12(6), 1181.
b1. The Role of Gratitude in The Development of Social Support, Stress, and Depression: Two Longitudinal Studies
b2. Why Gratitude Enhances Well-Being: What We Know, What We Need to Know
c1. Stone, D. I., & Stone, E. F. (1983). The Effects of Feedback Favorability and Feedback Consistency. Academy Of Management Proceedings (00650668), 178-182. doi:10.5465/AMBPP.1983.4976341
c2. Jaworski, B. J., & Kohl, A. K. (1991). Supervisory Feedback: Alternative Types and Their Impact on Salespeople’s Performance and Satisfaction. Journal Of Marketing Research (JMR), 28(2), 190-201.
c3. This number has been floating around the internet, but I was actually unable to find the original source. It may be wrong, or I may not have looked in the right places.
d1. Coping Style as a Psychological Resource of Grateful People
d2. Positive Responses to Benefit and Harm: Bringing Forgiveness and Gratitude into Cognitive Psychotherapy
d3. Gratitude in Intermediate Affective Terrain: Links of Grateful Moods to Individual Differences and Daily Emotional Experience
e1. Is Gratitude an Alternative to Materialism?
e2. The Grateful Disposition: A Conceptual and Empirical Topography
f1. C. Peterson, L. Bossio. “Optimism and Physical Wellbeing.” Optimism & Pessimism: Implications for Theory, Research, and Practice. Ed. E. Chang. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2001: 127-145.
f2. Positive Emotions in Early Life and Longevity: Findings From The Nun Study
f3. Optimistics vs. Pessimists Survival Rate Among Medical Patients Over a 30-Year Period
f4. Prediction of All-Cause Mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale Scores: Study of a College Sample During a 40-Year Follow-up Period.
g1. Kashdan, T. B., & Breen, W. E. (2007). MATERIALISM AND DIMINISHED WELL-BEING: EXPERIENTIAL AVOIDANCE AS A MEDIATING MECHANISM. Journal Of Social & Clinical Psychology, 26(5), 521-539.
g2. Belk , R. W. ( 1985 ). Materialism: Trait aspects of living in the material world . Journal of Consumer Research, 12, 265 – 280
g3. Sheldon , K. M. , & Kasser , T. ( 1995 ). Coherence and congruence: Two aspects of personality integration . Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 531 543 .
h1. Emmons RA, Crumpler CA. Gratitude as human strength: Appraising the evidence. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 2000;19:849–857.
i1. Spinney, L. (2012). All about ME. New Scientist, 214(2862), 44-47.
j1. Gratitude Influences Sleep Through the Mechanism of Pre-Sleep Cognitions
k1. Benight C, Bandura A. Social cognitive theory of posttraumatic recovery: The role of perceived self efficacy. Behav Res Ther. 2004; 42(10): 1129–1148 [serial online].
k2. Stanton A, Snider P. Coping with a breast cancer diagnosis: A prospective study. Health Psychol. 1993; 12(1): 16–23 [serial online].
k3. Segerstrom S, Taylor S, Kemeny M, Fahey J. Optimism is associated with mood, coping and immune change in response to stress. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998; 74(6): 1646–1655 [serial online].
k4. Taylor SE, Kemeny ME, Aspinwall LG, Schneider SG, Rodriguez R, Herbert M. Optimism, coping, psychological distress, and high-risk sexual behavior among men at risk for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). J Pers Soc Psychol. 1992; 63: 460–473.
k5. Giltay EJ, Geleijnse JM, Zitman FG, Buijsse B, Kromhout D. Lifestyle and dietary correlates of dispositional optimism in men: The Zutphen Elderly Study. J Psychosom Res. 2007; 63: 483–490.
k6. Gratitude: Effects on Perspective and Blood Pressure (2007)
l1. Emotion and Social Context: An American—German Comparison
m1. Watkins, P.C., D.L. Grimm and R. Kolts: 2004, #Counting your blessings:
Positive memories among grateful persons#, Current Psychology: Developmental, Learning, Personality, Social 23, pp. 52–67.
m2. Watkins, P. C., Cruz, L., Holben, H., & Kolts, R. L. (2008). Taking Care of Business? Grateful Processing of Unpleasant Memories. Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 87-99.
s1. Fredrickson, B. L., & Losada, M. F. (2005). Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing. American Psychologist, 60(7), 678-686. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.60.7.678
t1. Stone, D. I., & Stone, E. F. (1983). The Effects of Feedback Favorability and Feedback Consistency. Academy Of Management Proceedings (00650668), 178-182. doi:10.5465/AMBPP.1983.4976341
t2. Jaworski, B. J., & Kohl, A. K. (1991). Supervisory Feedback: Alternative Types and Their Impact on Salespeople’s Performance and Satisfaction.  Journal Of Marketing Research (JMR), 28(2), 190-201.
z1. What Neuroscience Reveals about the Nature of Business. Jeffrey L. Fannin, Ph.D. and Robert M. Williams, M.A.

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{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

Bobbi Emel

Amit, you must get no sleep at all! How can you pack so much information into one blog? I’m very grateful for it!

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks Bobbi! How can I pack so much information into one blog? Mm… think of it as a reflection of my personality, it comes out naturally :)

The research for this post took an extremely long time (~25-30 hours), but because I’m such a nerd, that was fun and just replaced my usual reading time.

The html, css, javascript, and creating the images took 5-6 hours, but once again is fun, so no problem.

Writing the eBook companion took about 5-7 hours, and writing the actual post took ~6-10 hours, and was the most difficult part. Split up over 3 weeks, 40-50 hours total, or about 2-4 hours each day.

Yeah… not the most efficient use of my time. Whatever :)

Reply

josh

Hahaa…wow.

Amit, I don’t spend that much time blogging, but I definitely do with music, hilarious to see you document it all here.

I feel like you deserve a reply just for that super thorough reply!

Reply

Lori Lynn Smith

Awesome topic – I agree with you on so many points. Gratitude is an amazing emotion that can lead to a lot “more” in your life. happiness as you point out, I also believe that is helps reduce stress. When you are spending your time in gratitude for what you have, rather than worrying about what you should you, your life is much less stressful.

Reply

Amit Amin

I never thought of it that way. I too agree that gratitude reduces stress, but I hadn’t thought of this particular reason why. Thank you for pointing that out.

Reply

Priska

And I am grateful that this post was so jam packed with ideas and things to be grateful about.

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks Priska!

Gratitude is an emotion to be grateful that we humans have the blessing/luck to possess. I’m glad I was able to at least partially convey that.

Reply

Joel Zaslofsky

Amit,

You outdid yourself this time. The presentation value of this article is AMAZING! Please write an article for ProBlogger soon about how to make your blog posts look unlike anything else out there and be super interactive. Oh, and please teach me how to make those indented tables like in number 6.

The content was great too (kind of important of course). I’ll admit, I skimmed a little bit but you made it great for me to dive as deep as I wanted in different sections.

Reply

Amit Amin

Yes! I’m glad the experiment worked. Thank you!

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, my posts are too long :) I’m starting to experiment with different ways I can stay true to my personality, while still keeping my articles readable. I’m not sure what’s going to come next, but I know I still have work to do.

I’d be glad to teach you. I’m too lazy to write an article for ProBlogger, but I’m happy to put together a tutorial for you (and other A-list folks).

Ah, I realize my priorities are completely messed up, of course. I shouldn’t be too lazy to write an article for a website that can drive tons of traffic to my site. Whatever :)

Reply

Linda Jo Martin

Amit, you keep me laughing, and I’m grateful for that. This article is so uplifting! I immediately grabbed an old gratitude journal off my shelf and dusted it off, then wrote that I’m grateful for your article today; it has touched my life. Very inspiring, not just the message, but also the presentation and organization. I was pleased to be able to recommend this on Google Plus!

You asked what benefit excites me. I will have to choose goals and productivity. Those are on top of my mind most of the time these days. It is good to know there’s something simple I can do for only five minutes each day, that will help me in those areas.

Reply

Amit Amin

Thank you for sharing on G+ Linda :)

I’m glad you’ve dusted off an old gratitude journal. Hopefully this time the habit will stick.

Did you leave the habit behind in the past because you weren’t seeing immediate benefits? I ask because I’m in the process of putting together some motivational information on how to make the habit stick. I think it’s a shame that such an easy happiness booster isn’t more widely applied.

Reply

Linda Jo Martin

Amit, the main reason I quit writing my gratitudes is that I’m easily distracted and very forgetful. I tend to make and break habits constantly. If you find ways to overcome this problem I’ll be very happy to read about them. Thanks again for your great article! I am grateful for it…

Reply

Kaylee

Wow, what an in-depth post! (Though I can’t say I’m surprised ;) ) I’d say you covered it all when it comes to gratitude… I never knew there were so many benefits to it! I know I felt happier when I kept a gratitude journal, yet somehow mine is still sitting in the trunk of my car. This post just might get me to walk outside and grab it.

Reply

Kaylee

Got it. I’m excited to re-establish the habit. Thanks Amit. =)

Reply

Amit Amin

Awesome! And thank you – it’s good to know my excessive thoroughness motivated!

Reply

Ani

Great topic and even greater post!!!
So in depth and such enthusiastic style of writing.

I also believe in gratitude. Writing a list of things I am thankful for helps me visualize how much I have and how happy I really am :)

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks Ani!

Gratitude is great, isn’t it ;)

Reply

Ciara Conlon

You had convinced me with the first paragraph! but I now have every possible angle to reflect on when I try to sabotage myself by not feeling grateful. No more excuses thanks to you. I have just thought of another entry for my gratitude journal; I am grateful for happierhuman.com :)

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks Ciara!

I didn’t intend it as such – but I actually use this list now when I need some motivation to be more grateful. Turns out I’m not the only one :)

Reply

Shamelle

Hi Amit,
Came across your blog for the first time and I must say I am impressed!
Following you now on twitter :-)

It took me about 20 mins to read through the entire post. I mean really read not skim through.
The effort that you have put in is evident in the post.
Have you considered writing a book?

regards
Shamelle

Reply

Amit Amin

Hi Shamelle,

Thank you for taking the time to let me know you actually read all gazillion words.

“Have you considered writing a book?” This question made my day, thank you!

Actually I am – in the past month I’ve written one eBook, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a quality score of 2, and so give it away for free :)

I’ll be releasing a draft of my first paid book in January, and would be happy to send you a copy.

Reply

Shamelle

Hi Amit,
The passion shows in your writing. I feel it when I read your post :-)

All the best for the book. If there’s anything I can do to help let me know. I’ll be happy to lend a hand for free.

Sure would like to share your book with my audience. Perhaps, we can schedule a short interview too once the book is done?

regards
Shamelle

Reply

Amit Amin

Hi Shamelle,

Thank you – it constantly surprises me how friendly some people are on the web :)

That would be fantastic! I’d be happy to do an interview and share the book with your audience.

Reply

Emmanuel Udah

Amit,
A very good and incisive piece. Do one thing for me please. I think God will appreciate it if you appreciate Him by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. I am not asking you to be religious but to enter a personal relationship with the Almighty God, The creator of all things. Your life of GRATITUDE will be complete if you do.

I appreciate you and this blog.

Thanks.

Emma

Reply

Amit Amin

Hi Emma,

Thank you for your kind words!

I’m sincere when I say this – I wish I could be spiritual and believe in god, because those that are spiritual are generally much happier and more fulfilled than those like me. However, because of my upbringing, personality, and life experience, I do not think there is any chance of that happening. I appreciate your words though.

Reply

Mike

I love this blog, it really makes you think about what’s important in life! Being kind to not only others but also being kind to yourself can change your life. In recent years I’ve tried to live this way. Helping others as much as possible and helping myself through patience and love. I’ve really been getting involved in charity’s and helping others in need and its made me a better person, I realize how lucky I am too. The cause I’m helping now is helping a family fund raise to rebuild their home after a fire destroyed it and everything they own. The only thing they have left is the clothes on their backs! Here is a link to the fundraiser, http://igg.me/p/221740?a=1179881 I hope others will feel compelled to help also!

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks Mike, that’s fantastic!

I personally only donate to givewell.com charities (those which have been determined to provide the most bang for the buck), but I hope your fundraiser goes well, and is able to unstuck itself.

Reply

DR M G HIREMATH

I PRESENTED MY RESEARCH PAPER AT CONFERENCE HELD AT BRAHMA KUMARI’S WORLD SPIRITUAL ORGANISATION, MOUNT-ABU (RAJASTHAN-INDIA) ON THE TOPIC
“GRATITUDE QUOTIENT IN INDIVIDUAL”
THEME: “RESEARCHING WITHIN - A Roadmap to a New World Order”
between 7th Sept’2012 to 10th Sept’2012 under auspices of APPLICATION OF SPIRITUALITY IN RESEARCH.

Reply

Amit Amin

Hi Dr. M G Hiremath,

Thanks for sharing! Would you be able to e-mail me a copy of your paper (amit @ happierhuman . com)? I’d love to give it a read.

Thanks!
Amit

Reply

DR M G HIREMATH

Hi Amit
Paper is on “ESSENCE OF GRATITUDE QUOTIENT IN INDIVIDUAL” It is available for view on “you tube”
Thanks for sharing! . I will post my views & Ppts.Thanks!
Dr. M G Hiremath,

Reply

Lee J Tyler

To answer your question, I’m grateful I don’t have a boss like that SNL video…anymore…;)

Love all of these points and just like so many emotions have an opposite, gratitude leads to happiness, as you so well point out and that leads to less stress, less neurotransmitters firing the fight or flight signal which causes more stress to the entire body (and in the extreme, leads to PTSD with all of its manifestations).

I love most of all the time you spent on the hyperlink grid which leads to various points with synonyms in your post. Made me laugh. I am clipping and sharing.

Reply

Patti

Amit, this is an awesome list of the benefits of gratitude. I found my way here from the AList club and read through this particular post because I had written an article on how to keep a gratitude journal and wanted to read your ideas on the topic. Wow! You have really done some good research. Gratitude has some far-reaching effects.

Reply

Amit Amin

Thank you Patti!

Yes, because gratitude is so effective in increasing happiness, and because happiness in turn is so effective in improving our lives, gratitude has some far-reaching effects. I’ve been regularly incorporating gratitude into my life for a few months now – there has been a definite change.

Much like your experience, some of the most radiant moments of my day are when I do gratitude meditation.

Reply

Kathy Hansen

Excellent article! Keep up the fantastic work :)

Reply

Lee Thomas

Excellent article.
With Gratitude,
Lee

Reply

Roberta Hartley

Hi there,

I’m a writer and an editor and totally subscribe to what you are saying! I thought you might like to know, especially after doing all the research, that there isn’t really a word “mentee.” The word you’re looking for is protege. Hope you can use this information to your benefit because the misuse of a non-word might make you look a little unbelievable. I think you’ve worked way too hard to give that impression.

All the best!

Roberta Hartley

Reply

Amit Amin

Thank you for the comment Roberta, I’ve updated the article!

I had no idea mentee wasn’t considered a real word. I need to stop trusting online dictionaries.

Reply

Michele

Why do you stop yourself from being spiritual? If you have the overwhelming feeling of a good, loving God, why not accept it? Your philosophy of being happy and grateful all go back to God.

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment Michele!

It’s a difference of opinion – I believe happiness and gratitude are secular; that they arise from good use of our biology, not a higher power.

Similar to this, I believe that secular moralism and spiritual adherence coincide quiet well. If one follows the teachings of God, they are likely to be compassionate, devout, honest, etc… I believe if one wishes to make the best use of their biology (secular moralism), I believe they too will make the choice to be compassionate, devout, honest, etc…

Although perhaps your belief then is that God made our biology in such a way that gratitude, compassion, etc… are the most rewarded emotions (e.g. in comparison to jealousy and hatred, which lead to unhappiness)?

Reply

Michele

I just didn’t understand how you could ignore that innate feeling of which you spoke in your article. I enjoy reading the information on your page. I kind of get what you are saying, but I believe we as humans begin to think we have more power than we really do. I too feel connected spiritually and allow that feeling to progress. I feel people are afraid of the idea of an all powerful God. I do believe God made us to be naturally compassionate and good people. When people are “bad” I truly believe they are going against their true nature and giving in to the opposite spirit in Satan. Although secular moralism is helpful to others I am not sure how that would work because from a young age, I have believed in God.

Reply

Kim

i so appreciate the way you talk about, make real and reflect on the feeling, concept, practice and impact of gratitude. thank you, Amit, for your thoughtfulness and inspiration in creating and sharing this with us all. Kim

Reply

Barb

Hello, Amit…. just came across this when I googled ‘the benefits of gratitutde’ …. thanks for a month’s worth of benefits!! happy New Year!

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks Barb! Happy New Year’s to you too!

I hope this months worth of benefits was enough to convince you :)

Reply

kevin

This is an amazing article, thank you for taking the time to compile all these resources and put it all together!

Reply

Kaya

This is an amazing article! I’m a freshman and my sister is a junior and we are doing a project on happiness and wellbeing and this helped tremendously,
thank you and we look forward to reading more!

Reply

Amit Amin

Glad to help Kaya!

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions – I’ll do what I can to provide answers, or at least point you in the right direction.

Reply

Jessie

Wow Amit, impressive post chocked full of useful info! I am very grateful for your post, grateful for the internet, this computer to type on, my fingers to type with, my eyes to read this and my brain for being able to process this. I usually spend my time in the shower in the morning rattling off everything I’m thankful for to get my day started.

Reply

Amit Amin

That’s a great habit Jessie, thanks for sharing!

Reply

John

Please read “365 Thank yous”. Read it twice. I have sent or hand delivered over 150 thank you cards since the beginning of february. I feel totally calm. I have some serious challenges with work, but I can handle it.

Peace, it’s is really a good place to be.

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks for the recommendation John, I just ordered the book!

Reply

Gigi Galt

I am so grateful I came across this today. It’s wonderful!

Many thanks!

Reply

Amit Amin

And I’m grateful I was able to help you – thank you :)

Reply

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Hello! I would wish to provide a enormous thumbs up for the great info you could have here about this post. We are coming back to your blog for further soon.

Reply

Mary

This is a fabulous article. Thank you for the level of detail that you have included along with the graphics. I work as a dating coach and I am constantly talking to my clients about the practice of gratitude. Now you’ve provided me with some of the “hacks” I can share with them to keep them motivated to stick with their gratitude practice.

Thank you for your work,
Mary

Reply

Amit Amin

One of my primary motivations for practicing gratitude is so that I can be a better partner. It’s great that you share that with your clients!

What other major hacks do you commonly recommend as a dating coach?

Reply

Marshall Page

Thank you for an excellent article Amit.
Praise and gratitude are our life line to all the success and prosperity available to each one of us.
For a personal account of the power of gratitude go to
http://premierblueprints.blogspot.ca/2009/04/business-success.html

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks for sharing your story Marshall!

From the customer perspective, I’m much more likely to be a repeat customer or provide leads to someone who is grateful. It just makes the entire interaction more pleasent.

Reply

Diane Gold

This is an awesome article! It made me happier just reading it! :-) Great insight!

Reply

Candy

We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
Your web site provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive process and our entire neighborhood can be grateful to you.

Reply

Madhur

Hi Amit,

THank you for the effort you have put in to compile the research findings systematically and in simple english. Could you help me locate the references which you have marked like a1 a2 a3 a4

Regards
Madhur

Reply

Amit Amin

Sure Madhur!

Hit Ctrl + F, type in references, then click on the link which appears (it’s at the very bottom of the article). A list of references will appear below (you’ll need to have javascript active).

Reply

patty

I love the graphic it fits in so well with my Mommy Mantra and Tuesday spiritual Practice that I had to use it….I made sure there was a direct link back to your site…Thank you so much

Reply

Amit Amin

Thank you for the attribution :) I’m glad you found it helpful!

Reply

Robert Jonas

A fine piece that I will share. I just emailed the author this response: I like this overview of gratitude and its benefits. One point I’d emphasize is that you research the great spiritual traditions. I think you have misunderstood something important. You write that “Gratitude increases spiritualism.” Actually, spiritualism means that you believe that the spirits of dead people are communicating with us. This notion isn’t a central part of any of the great world religions. It’s not there in Buddhism, for example. Also, on the Buddhist path, one can be overflowing with gratitude without having a notion of God. And then, if you consider the Christian path, one can have a heart overflowing with gratitude, just as you did, without adhering to any particular image of God, because God is not a noun (like “table”). In the Jewish and Christian traditions, God is the great Mystery who births forth this cosmos and cannot be contained by any image, concept, name or theory. In Christianity, this is called the apophatic dimension of spiritual practice. Let go into the gratitude that is continuously flowing throughout all creation and you are in the deep flow of something that is coming through you, but something that you do not own and you did not create. This is a powerful experience, beyond words, ideology and ego. Go with that flow and you’re in line with a vast oceanic blessing that is always happening, whether you participate or not. It’s a relief and a joy to participate.

Reply

www.supernova.com

Hey, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.

When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when
opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, wonderful blog!

Reply

Zack

Wow! Well done survey of the positive effects of practicing gratitude!

Reply

Michele Fitzgerald

Terrific article. Thanks!

Reply

Ashley

Amit,
Thank you for your post! It was fascinating. I do have one question for you, if gratefulness makes you closer to God, why do you keep pushing him away?

Reply

Amit Amin

Glad you liked it, thanks for leaving a comment :)

From your perspective, the word push might seem appropriate, but from mine that word is not quite right. My estimate of the probability that god exists is .01%. The scientific research on gratitude is exactly that – scientific, and therefore does nothing to shift my probability estimate.

Reply

Kostadin Kushlev

Hey Amit,

I really liked the gratitude vs wining the lottery graph you have here so I wanted to make sure that it is supported but the papers you cite. As it turns out, in the Brickman et al., paper, the authors did not measure the happiness of lottery winners in a longitudinal manner (right before and after winning the lottery and 6 months later). So, I am not quite sure where your data for the graph come from. As it stands, the graph you’ve made is misleading because it suggests that the happiness of lottery winners decreases over time after the win, something that is not at all shown in the data by the Brickman et al paper you cite. Please advise if you used another paper to create this graph, whether you just misread the paper, or (and I hope not) purposefully mislead your readers.

Reply

Amit Amin

Thank you Kostadin!

I’ve taken down the graph and amended my text. I have a clear memory of getting the data from a longitudinal study, but as you said, the paper I cited is no such thing. A quick literature search turned up papers which suggest the opposite of what I originally claimed – that winning the lottery does in fact create small but significant long-term increases in happiness. So even if I find the original paper, it’s clear there’s conflicting evidence.

Again, thank you for pointing this out. It’s likely that I made a mistake. It would be great if I had someone looking over my shoulder to check my work, but for now, this is a one-man labor of love.

Reply

Ramdas Shetty

Nice article and thoroughly researched. I am grateful to you for the article. Thank you, Amit for the same and here’s wishing that you achieve your potential.

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks Ramdas! Happy 2014 :)

Reply

Wan

Awesome post.

So thorough on the benefits of gratitude. I’m sold on making the gratitude journal because I also heard about in a TED talk before this. With that amount of benefits, I wonder if there are people who dismiss the idea of gratitude because if they do, they are losing out on lots of things.

Thanks for writing this Amit.

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment :)

There are plenty of people who dismiss the idea of gratitude. In a survey taken 25 years ago, only 20% of Americans rated gratitude as a constructive and useful emotion. I’m sure the number is better now, but I still know many – especially in the older generation – who think I’m crazy.

Reply

Lynn Durham, RN

Right on! Gratitude changes your heart variability pattern and boosts immune functioning too.

The wisdom traditions are right are wise! Besides thanksgiving which you covered very well, faith, forgiveness, and a merry heart are good for you too. ;-)

I’m the author of “From Frazzled to Fantastic! You’re One Thought Away From Feeling Better.” That is true and sometimes we choose a thought that makes us feel worse! Be careful. ;-)

Reply

PGH

Indeed, as your blog suggests, gratitude is a powerful dose of medicine, and without any negative side-effects, too, working far better than focusing on self-esteem, for me at least. I happen to believe in God, but it’s really gratitude directed towards God for all that I am and all my potential, none of which I am entitled to, that I find to be deeply healing of any emotional wound.
I think this healing occurs because gratitude naturally diminishes my covertly egotistical, prideful self to the point where the self isn’t as important as what I can do to express my gratitude. Not only being grateful, but taking it to the next level by doing something positive to express this gratitude. Gratitude in action. This focus away from myself and towards a mission to express gratitude is what makes the past seem significant only for the purposes of learning spiritual lessons.
From being grateful, I’ve learned that it was my covertly egotistical self that caused nearly all of the problems in my own life, because in perhaps 99% of the instances I was not forced to do something and instead I did it to feel good, in other words, to pump up my own ego. Having accepted full responsibility as a result of gratitude not only didn’t make me depressed or lose self-esteem, it actually boosted my energy, because now I realize that I have the capability to fix myself and thus redirect my life in the direction that I want it to go. Ironically, by not focusing on boosting the self and by not caring about my self-esteem, both of which gratitude makes less relevant or even to the point of total irrelevance, I have far more energy, sharper mental clarity, and every positive attribute that you’ve mentioned in this blog.
Gratitude is THE attitude to have. And, I happen to believe in a higher benevolent Being and that I have a mission in life, with that mission being to fix myself in a spiritual way. This combination works to make a very fulfilling life.

Reply

Jean Bons

Fantastic blog! So detailed and interactive! What fun. I especially loved the diagram at the very beginning.

Reply

Amit Amin

Thanks Jean :)

Reply

Patti

Dear Amit,
I loved this article and especially the image that summarizes all the benefits in such a concise way. Thank you for the time and energy you devoted to writing it. I want to share your knowledge because I think it is very valuable. I hope it’s ok that I have included this image in my own article and have given you credit for it’s development. I’ve also provided a link to this article and a recommendation to read it in it’s entirety. Please let me know if this is ok with you.

Reply

Amit Amin

Hi Patti! I’m glad you found this article useful, and thank you for the recommendation, that’s 100% OK!

Reply

Michelle

Hi Amit, this is a great website with lots of info, thanks! :-)
Please consider the (even tiny, remote) possibility that God exists and explore it a little… Sorry to be corny – Jesus really loves you & wants you to know Him.

Reply

yourupnorthsource.com

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.

I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info.

Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

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Rosetta

Now I am going away to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming again to read additional news.

Reply

David Meyer

Hello,

I am writing a book right now and it will be published in about a month. Let me know by email if I could use some of your graphics on gratitude for my book. I would definitely be willing to let my readers know about your website, and give you proper credit in my book. Send me an email and let me know. I love your information on gratitude. It has really changed my life a lot!
David Meyer

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