The field of psychology has usually concentrated on trying to understand aberrations and psychological problems. But now a strain is concentrating on “positive psychology,” seeking to understand mental well-being. A key aspect is gratitude. People who have an attitude of thankfulness show a whole range of other positive traits, not only psychologically but physicially!
Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants. Gratitude is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.
1. Grateful people are more hopeful and healthier
2. Improved sleep quality
3. Increased self-esteem
4. Increased helpfulness and empathy
5. Increased resilience
(Explanations of each of these benefits, as well as details and links to the studies that establish them, can be found at the link.)