While it might seem obvious in retrospect, one of the latest breakthroughs in the psychology of happiness has to do with gratitude. Multiple studies have shown a positive correlation between gratitude and happiness. One study, performed by Dr. Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami asked participants to jot down a few sentences each week.

One group was asked to write down things for which they were grateful that week. The second group was asked to do just the opposite. They wrote down the regular annoyances and frustrations that occur in daily life. The third group were asked to simply write down things that occurred throughout their week, with no specific focus on either positive or negative experiences.

After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were markedly more optimistic, and exhibited higher levels of enjoyment of their lives than before the study. An unexpected byproduct of the exercise occurred as well, with participants exercising more and visiting the doctor less. In other words, the participants who practiced gratitude were happier and healthier.

Stuart Strachan Jr.

Looking for More Inspiration?

Don’t Miss

The Latest From Our Blog

Check out articles, featured illustrations, and book reviews on all different topics related to ministry.

Working with God through Our Work

Working with God through Our Work

Note from TPW: Kara Martin addresses life in the secular workplace, sharing insights to help you lead your congregations to understand their faith and work and also to bring the Kingdom into your own workplace. This was originally posted on March 15, 2017 on...

Ash Wednesday and St. Valentine

Ash Wednesday and St. Valentine

A Valentine’s Day Tradition What better way to say, “I love you,” than passing your beloved some sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, and glycerin wrapped in a chalkly Necco wafer heart? Maybe some of you remember your fifth grade crush surreptitiously sneaking a bag of...

The Art of Remembering

The Art of Remembering

The Necessity of Memory Memory—or, more actively, remembering—plays an all-important role in our lives. Our culture likes us to focus on the now, "looking forward rather than looking back"—to be people of action, focused on doing—rather than contemplating remembering....