Practice Gratitude – It’s Good for Your Health

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

grat·i·tude ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/

  1. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
    “she expressed her gratitude to the committee for their support”
    Synonyms: gratefulness, thankfulness, thanks, appreciation, recognition, appreciation


A Sense of Gratitude Improves Your Health 

Studies on gratitude support an association between gratitude and a sense of well being.  One study by Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, leaders in the field of research on gratitude showed that after keeping a ‘gratitude journal for 10 weeks, people were

  • more optimistic
  • felt better about their lives
  • began to exercise more
  • went to the doctor less often.


Practicing Gratitude Enhances Relationships

In one study, individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner felt more positive toward the other person and felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.

Expressing Gratitude to Employees Motivates Them 

People want to feel that they are doing a good job and are members of a team. The best way to promote teamwork and motivate employees is to treat staff as valued members of the team.

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude:

  1. Count Your Blessings
  2. Keep a Gratitude Journal
  3. Thank Someone (Mentally or Out loud)
  4. Write a Thank-You Note Once a Week
  5. Practice Optimism
  6. Daily Prayer
  7. Daily Mindful Meditation
  8. Promote Teamwork (at Home and Work)
  9. Celebrate Successes
  10. Perform Acts of Kindness

Gratitude Tree 40f31d1f4b765d68a0b3e3edeef86859

Sources and More Information

Digdon, N and Koble, A.  Effects of Constructive Worry, Imagery Distraction, and Gratitude Interventions on Sleep Quality: A Pilot Trial. July 2011. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Vol 3. No 2. pages 193–206

Emmons RA, et al. “Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology(Feb. 2003): Vol. 84, No. 2, pp. 377–89.

Grant AM, et al. “A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way: Explaining Why Gratitude Expressions Motivate Prosocial Behavior,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (June 2010): Vol. 98, No. 6, pp. 946–55.

Lambert NM, et al. “Expressing Gratitude to a Partner Leads to More Relationship Maintenance Behavior,” Emotion (Feb. 2011): Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 52–60.

Layous, K, et al. Delivering Happiness: Translating Positive Psychology Intervention Research for Treating Major and Minor Depressive Disorders. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2011; 17 (8): 675

Roberts, H. (2005). Creating motivation, identifying incentives and enablers, and encouraging staff development. Community Eye Health18(56), 122–124

Sansone RA, et al. “Gratitude and Well Being: The Benefits of Appreciation,” Psychiatry (Nov. 2010): Vol. 7, No. 11, pp. 18–22.

Seligman MEP, et al. “Empirical Validation of Interventions,” American Psychologist (July–Aug. 2005): Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 410–21.

How to Keep a Daily Gratitude Journal– Write ‘3 things to be Grateful for’ Daily. Do this for 21 days and it becomes a habit.

Here are my ‘3 things to be grateful for today,’ – 

1) I am Grateful for the Beauty of Last Night’s Full Moonrise Over the Ocean. (2) I am Grateful for Today’s Sunshine. (3) I am Grateful to Have Work That Brings Me Joy.

Easier to Feel Grateful When Living on Cape Ann.   ~ Happy Thanksgiving.    Karen

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