Gratitude Creates Happiness

I was delighted to see that the Washington Post Health and Science section this week had a wonderful article written by Carolyn Butler about the latest research on gratitude – specifically expressing and receiving gratitude. It is a short article chock full of wonderful facts and ideas as to how to encourage gratitude, as well as how it affects our lives.  I think the opening paragraphs say it all:

“We know that grateful kids are happier [and] more satisfied with their lives,” says Jeffrey Froh, an assistant professor of psychology at Hofstra University who focuses on the topic. “They report better relationships with friends and family, higher GPAs, less materialism, less envy and less depression, along with a desire to connect to their community and to want to give back.” He adds that there’s an even larger field of research on adults showing that being thankful has numerous psychological, social and even physical benefits such as lower blood pressure.

Luckily, it is possible to teach gratitude. One of Froh’s studies found that early adolescents who simply “counted their blessings” in a journal every day for two weeks were more appreciative than those who didn’t, as well as more optimistic and more satisfied with their lives.

Please do click the link above to read the rest of the article. It reminded me again, about why I as a parent put in the effort to express gratitude and reinforce it in my children – even into their teen years. In my own personal experience cultivating gratitude creates more open-heartedness and happiness, no matter whatever else may be happening.

SO I am grateful for the Washington Post for their excellent write up of this research.

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