An "attitude of gratitude" is good for you!

This holiday season, be grateful. It will make you happier.

The holiday season can be stressful. But expressing thanks for the good things in your life can have tremendous benefits for the quality of your life in the new year to come.

Psychotherapist Amy Morin tells us that gratitude has proven scientific benefits. Some of these benefits include an improvement of overall physical and psychological health, enhanced empathy and reduced aggression, and a better night’s sleep.

Who couldn’t use a better night’s sleep?

Studies show that when we deliberately emphasize the things we are grateful for, we are more optimistic and feel better about our lives. Research by Drs. Robert Emmons and Michael E. McCullough shows that we are not only more optimistic when we express gratitude, but also exercise more and have fewer visits to the doctor than people who focus on the irritants in their lives. 

Not surprisingly, expressing gratitude can also improve the environment in the workplace. Managers who remember to say “thank you” to employees motivate their employees to work harder. A study conducted by The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania compared groups of employees who made fundraising calls. The researchers found that employees who received a pep talk in which their manager expressed thanks for their efforts made 50 percent more fundraising calls the following week than the employees who did not receive any thanks. 

Practicing gratitude is easy. You can write a thank-you note, keep a journal listing what you are grateful for, or count or meditate on your blessings. I don’t know about you, but considering how easy it is to say “thanks,” and to count my blessings, I’ll be sure to practice gratitude this holiday season and reap the benefits that come along with it.

Wishing you a very happy holiday season and New Year!

Image Credit: From flickr, Creative Commons license, by Virginia L.

Tags: Gratitude

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