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Grateful people are happier
Research by Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside, and others has found that grateful people experience more optimism, joy, enthusiasm, and other positive emotions, and they have a deeper appreciation for life’s simple pleasures.
Gratitude is good for our health
Studies link gratitude to a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, better sleep quality, reduced risk of heart disease, and better kidney function.
Gratitude improves our relationships
When someone feels grateful for his or her romantic partner on one day, both partners feel more satisfied with their relationship on the next. And expressing gratitude makes people feel closer to a friend or significant other.
Gratitude is good for kids
Grateful teens are more satisfied with their lives, more engaged at school, have higher grades, and are less materialistic.
Gratitude is a skill
People who aren’t naturally grateful can increase their level of gratitude—and enjoy the benefits—through practice, such as by keeping a gratitude journal.
Gratitude motivates us to “pay it forward”
In one study, people who benefitted from a kind act later spent significantly more time helping others than non-grateful people did.
Gratitude makes us smarter in how we spend money
People who feel grateful show stronger self-control and are better at delaying gratification, rather than making more impulsive, short-sighted spending decisions.
For more on the science of gratitude, visit the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.