Practicing gratitude can be as simple as keeping a gratitude journal. Twice a week, write down 3 or more things for which you are grateful. Those who keep gratitude journals tend to be about 25% happier. There are also health benefits. People who regularly practice gratitude tend to exercise more, have lower blood pressure and eat healthier.
Take the time to express gratitude for your partner. Appreciation for our significant other strengthens intimacy and is a predictor of long-term successful relationships. Expressing gratitude benefits both people, increasing a sense of connectedness.
Gratitude makes you more Helpful
It can also make you more altruistic. Those who regularly practice gratitude are more likely to help others in need, even when that assistance may be costly to them. In fact, gratitude is a better predictor of prosocial helping behavior than awareness of social norms.
So whether it’s keeping a journal, helping others, or letting your loved one know how much you appreciate them through words and deeds, gratitude has a tremendous power to enrich our lives, our relationships, and our society.
Barlett, M. & DeSteno, D. (2006). Gratitude and Prosocial Behavior: Helping When It Costs You. Psychological Science April 2006 17(4), 319-325. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01705.x
Emmons, R.A. (2013). Cultivating the Art of Gratitude. USA Today, 243(2818), 68+.
Emmons, Robert A.; McCullough, Michael E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389. doi: 10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1687
Gordon, A.M., Impett, E.A., Kogan, A., Oveis, C., & Keltner, D. (2012). To have and to hold: Gratitude promotes relationship maintenance in intimate bonds. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103(2), 257-274. doi: 10.1037/a0028723