Gratitude has positive impacts on our health and well-being. Grateful people feel less aggression, less hurt feelings, and are less sensitive overall.
Though people have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted, it’s well known that showing some gratitude gives our heart a lift. For decades researchers have been studying the effects of gratitude, and we can give thanks for their efforts. The consensus of opinion holds that gratitude equals overall well-being.
Some recent research adds to the body of evidence of positive effects. Research conducted by Professor Nathan DeWall at the University of Kentucky concluded that gratitude, both as “a trait and as a fleeting mood … lowers daily aggression, hurt feelings, and overall sensitivity.”
DeWall set out to discover if the positive effects of gratitude are experienced only by people for whom gratitude is considered a general trait or if they can also be experienced by people who show gratitude periodically.
Even those whose general attitude toward life is to take what comes their way for granted can benefit from taking a moment to examine and mentally count their blessings, according to DeWall’s research.
“Take a step back, and look at what you’ve got,” said DeWall. “Don’t spend every waking moment being grateful, but one time a week definitely increases your well-being over time. And if you get bad news—you’re given a shot that protects you.”