More Than Mortal

The science of the human quest for meaning, significance, and self-transcendence.

The Benefits of Celebrating Father’s Day

Showing appreciation to our dads is good for our mental and physical health.

The reason we celebrate holidays like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day is to make our parents feel special. We want them to know how much we value them. However, turns out we can also benefit from showing such appreciation. Being thankful is as good for us as it is for them. That is, it is good for our mental and physical health to take time out of our daily lives to think about and share with others the things we are grateful for. Father’s Day provides a great opportunity for such an exercise. 

Consider the following research findings.

People who express gratitude are happier, more optimistic, and feel more socially connected to others.

People who express gratitude feel more physically healthy and are more inclined to exercise.

People who feel grateful are more likely to help others.

Expressing gratitude makes people less defensive against criticism. 

So this Father’s Day be sure to tell dad how much you appreciate him. He will benefit from you expressing just how grateful you are for all he has done. And research suggests that you will also be rewarded for your gratitude.


Clay Routledge is an associate professor of Psychology at North Dakota State University.


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