The Benefit of Gratitude

(Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash)

Dear Zion HealthShare members, 

With Thanksgiving approaching, I wanted to remind you of the benefits watching calories, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep can provide. This time of year helps remind us of the things we are grateful for, and I couldn’t help but wonder if expressing gratitude could benefit our health. It turns out that it can! 

Dr. Robert Emmons and Dr. Michael McCullough tested this hypothesis by asking participants in their study to write a few sentences each week. The participants were divided into three groups and assigned the following tasks: one group wrote about things they were grateful for; a second group wrote about daily irritations or displeasures; and a third wrote about general events in their lives without emphasizing them to be positive of negative.  

They found that those who regularly expressed their gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Additionally, this group of grateful writers exercised more and visited their doctor less frequently than the group who wrote about negative things. This study lasted for 10 weeks. Think about what expressing gratitude could do for you in a year’s time? 

Another interesting study found that couples who expressed gratitude for their partner felt more positive toward them, and more comfortable expressing concerns with their relationship. 

I encourage you to put this to the test — can expressing gratitude improve my health? Regularly write or express your gratitude and keep track of how you feel. The end result will be worth it.  

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