4 Ways Feeling Grateful Can Improve Your Life


Fill your marriage with gratitude: It's been shown to boost commitment.

Showing appreciation, counting your blessings—whatever you call it, gratitude is a key component of physical and emotional well-being. In fact, feeling thankful translated to better mood, higher sleep quality, and reduced inflammation in heart-failure patients, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association. And day-to-day perks like these make the habit all the more worth it.

It improves your week

Try jotting down those "Hooray!" moments as you go through your day. A study from gratitude expert Robert Emmons, PhD, showed that people who kept weekly gratitude journals were more optimistic and happier overall than folks who recorded hassles or uneventful happenings.

It tightens our bonds

When college students who were mentoring high schoolers received a handwritten thank-you note from their mentee, they rated the mentee as having a warmer personality, found a 2015 study in Emotion. And they were more apt to give the high schooler their contact information.

It makes you resilient

Undergrad students who expressed gratitude—by thanking others, for example—tended to have higher self-esteem and, in turn, appeared less vulnerable to depression or hopelessness, according to 2015 research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology.

It bolsters your patience

In a study published in Psychological Science, participants who were asked to recall a time they felt grateful, then choose between getting a smaller monetary reward soon or a bigger one later, were more willing to wait for the bigger payout than those who didn't think thankful thoughts.