We all know that gratitude is a good thing. Expressing gratitude or having someone expressing it to us always creates that warm, fuzzy feeling! Sometimes, it can be very difficult to express gratitude, particularly when going through rough patches in life. But that may well be the time when we need to express it most.
So how can being grateful impact health? There have been quite a few studies investigating this phenomenon. One study looked at the effect of expressing gratitude using a group of adolescents. It was found that those who completed set gratitude exercises had better academic results, a more positive relationship with family and greater abstinence from alcohol and drug use.
Another study looked at how showing gratitude affected quality of life for those suffering from a chronic illness. The researchers found that the quality of life of the cohort was enhanced by a “predisposition to showing interpersonal gratitude.”
Show gratitude every day!
Although showing gratitude every day can sometimes be challenging, it can help to improve our outlook on life and give a welcome boost to those around us, too. Even when feeling completely down and out, thinking of things to be grateful for can lift the mood and may even offer a solution to the problem at hand.
Teaching children to be grateful is also very important for their future development. Leading by example by thanking them for doing their chores or helping out with their siblings not only makes them feel that their efforts are valued, but their confidence will increase too.
 Ma. M et al. Gratitude is associated with greater levels of protective factors and lower levels of risks in African American adolescents. J Adolesc. 2013 Oct;36(5)
 Eaton. R.J et al. Positive predispositions, quality of life and chronic illness. Psychol Health Med. 2013 Aug 8.