The Benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants. Gratitude is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.

Recent posts on Gratitude

What's In Your Mind?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on January 15, 2018 in Your Wise Brain
Believe in realistic thinking. Life is often hard but try to focus on the good facts in life. Let them become good experiences and let them really sink in.

The Surprising Power of a Smile

What keeps us from smiling more? Offering a generous smile can be contagious and may help improve the quality of our day.

Why Bother? Part 1

There are no guarantees that when we bring to the surface some of the material that needs healing that it’s going to benefit us right away...

New Year’s Reflections Inspired by Three Haiku Poets

Here are four haiku with the new year as their themes. My commentary focuses on chronic illness (which includes chronic pain), but this piece is for everyone.

Quiet Relationship Resolutions

By Kathy McCoy Ph.D. on January 02, 2018 in Complicated Love
Have New Year's relationship resolutions always ended in disappointment? Making promises to yourself and quiet changes to your own behavior can make a real difference this year!

How to Incorporate More Gratitude Into Your Life This Year

Incorporating more gratitude into your life could be the easiest way to change your life this year. Here's an easy way to become more grateful.

Ready to Try Something New? Practice Being Grateful

By Amie M. Gordon, Ph.D. on January 01, 2018 in Between You and Me
Feeling like your relationship could use a boost? This gratitude exercise helps you stop focusing on what's wrong so you can see what is right.

Mothers and Daughters and "Lady Bird"

By Susan Hooper on December 30, 2017 in Detours and Tangents
I graduated from high school decades ago. Why then does so much about the heroine of the film "Lady Bird"—a high school senior at war with her mother—seem so familiar to me?

Review, Rejoice, and Plan

Having a plan, even a simple one, for the next year will give you goals to work toward and a way to feel better about your life.

No New Year's Eve Date? Create a Gratitude Memory or Memoir

By Rita Watson MPH on December 29, 2017 in With Love and Gratitude
Instead of fretting about no one to kiss under the mistletoe, be grateful for alone time. Count your blessings. Dream. Watch fireworks. Resolve to make 2018 one of gratitude.

Acknowledgment, Validation, and Praise

To sit down with our beloved in a formal session to exchange what I love about you is an intimate and soul-nourishing experience.

Want More Happiness in the New Year? 19 Resolutions for Joy

By Meg Selig on December 26, 2017 in Changepower
19 specific and science-based New Year's (or anytime) resolutions that will guide you down the three pathways to happiness — pleasure, purpose, and pride.

5 Ways to Foster Gratitude in Children

By Nancy Darling Ph.D. on December 24, 2017 in Thinking About Kids
Fostering gratitude in your children may be the best gift you could give them this season!

Bringing Emotional Equilibrium To The Holidays

By Dan Mager MSW on December 22, 2017 in Some Assembly Required
Learning to recognize, be present, and make peace with the parts of ourselves we may struggle with makes it possible to be accepting of whatever arises.

Family Festivities Are All About Family, Not Politics

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on December 20, 2017 in Trouble in Mind
You can’t prevent others getting into fraught discussions when everyone has gathered for the annual celebrations, but you can stop yourself being drawn into them!
VIA Institute/Deposit Photos

5 Spiritual Strengths to Create Holiday Happiness

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on December 20, 2017 in What Matters Most?
Celebrate "The Five Days of Christmas" with these spiritual strengths. Learn five research-based tools you can begin using today (or tomorrow).

Give Yourself a Memoir Gift: 18 Thoughts to Help

By Rita Watson MPH on December 19, 2017 in With Love and Gratitude
Begin a memoir this holiday season even if it is just for you or your family.

Want a More Altruistic Brain? Try Daily Gratitude Journaling

By Christopher Bergland on December 18, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Taking a few minutes each day to express gratitude in writing can cultivate "pure altruism" on a neural level, according to a new brain imaging study.

Simple Gifts of Mindfulness to Open Your Heart to the Season

A holiday collection of 25 simple ideas for being mindful, so you can feel the joy of the season, spend less, share fully in your child's enthusiasm, and reduce your stress.

5 Powerful Winter Solstice Practices for Parents

By Erin Leyba LCSW, Ph.D. on December 16, 2017 in Joyful Parenting
The more you clear space and work toward closure, the more you make space for all the good waiting for you around the corner of the new year.

When Should We Let Challenges Go And Let Real Life Flow?

By Gregg McBride on December 16, 2017 in The Weight-ing Game
Talk to almost anyone you know and they’ll likely tell you that 2017 has been a year full of challenges. This can sometimes be a rough planet. But it can also be a giving one.

3 Mistakes We Make as Gift Givers and How to Correct Them

By Amie M. Gordon, Ph.D. on December 15, 2017 in Between You and Me
All of us have given and received hundreds, if not thousands, of gifts. So why, as gift givers, do we continue to make the same mistakes over and over again?

Finding Peace and Creating Joy in a World Torn Apart

Peace must begin within if we want to work towards it in the world around us.
Zamurovic Photography/Shutterstock

Making Peace with the End of the Year

By Tara Well Ph.D. on December 12, 2017 in The Clarity
Feeling like you're running out time? A few tips for successfully closing out the year and find peace.

10 Tips for What to Do When You Have Nothing to Do

By Rita Watson MPH on December 02, 2017 in With Love and Gratitude
Finding yourself with nothing to do is really a gift. And research shows it may enhance your creativity.

Reflections on a Wooden Bowl

By Susan Hooper on November 30, 2017 in Detours and Tangents
Rediscovering a family heirloom made me curious about its owner—my great-grandmother.

Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

Negativity can be a healthy assertion of individuality. Here are 12 ideas to support young kids’ developing independence while moving them toward a more cooperative attitude.

Practice Self-Love to Become an Even Better Parent

Be the best parent you can be by loving yourself.
Joshua Sazon

How to Cope When You’re Envious of a Friend

By Miriam Kirmayer on November 28, 2017 in Casual to Close
As we move through life, the more our paths diverge from those of our friends, and the more important it becomes to learn how to manage feelings of envy.
iStock 3324930

Six Reasons Why People Give Their Money Away, or Not

By Sara Konrath Ph.D. on November 26, 2017 in The Empathy Gap
Why do people give away their hard-earned money to charity? An economist and a psychologist explain.