The Science of Gratitude

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” 
- Melody Beattie


Gratitude. The dictionary defines it as: noun, the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Of course, every day is an opportunity for expressing gratitude, but Thanksgiving is our perfect annual reminder to tap into this wonderful resource for well-being.

Gratitude has been well studied since the 2000’s. Research has found that a regular practice of gratitude can increase physical and emotional health, enhance self-esteem, stave off depression, change habitual negative thinking, and even help you sleep better at night! But perhaps the biggest benefit from practicing gratitude is an exponential increase in overall happiness.

Experts tell us that even a simple act of gratitude - saying “thank you” to the barista who makes your morning coffee, the checker at the grocery store, or to an office co-worker, can not only increase your own well-being, but also the well-being of the person you interacted with. That’s a true win-win!

Ways to Boost Gratitude

My husband and I have a practice we call “Three Good Things.” At the end of the day, no matter how our days have gone, we tell each other three good things that happened. Instead of listing accomplishments and tasks completed, we find ourselves being grateful for a beautiful sunset, a funny story, or connecting with a friend - all simple joys that increase our feelings of gratitude.

Gratitude levels can be increased by keeping a gratitude journal, writing a letter of thanks, volunteering, meditation and prayer, to name just a few. And yes, there’s an app for that!

From all of us at The Practical Path, we wish you a very happy and thankful Thanksgiving!

Until next time - stay inspired!

The Practical Path