Why does gratitude matter?

The ability to appreciate what others have done for you and to be inspired to reciprocate can make you feel happier and more fulfilled. When you feel gratitude, you relive a good experience. When you express gratitude, you strengthen your relationships. Even in the midst of adversity, practicing gratitude can:

  • Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Boost immunity
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Strengthen relationships
  • Improve sleep

Gratitude is a skill that anyone can learn. When you notice and express your appreciation of good things, you’re setting an example for others to learn gratitude, which can have a lasting impact on how you connect with family, friends, peers, and leaders.

Read HPRC’s “Ways to grow your gratitude” to learn some new and interesting ideas. You might find that you like to have one conversation daily, or maybe you’d rather try a different activity each week. But don’t force it. Make gratitude matter for you.

Resources

Dickens, L. R. (2017). Using gratitude to promote positive change: A series of meta-analyses investigating the effectiveness of gratitude interventions. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 39(4), 193–208. doi:10.1080/01973533.2017.1323638

Grant, A. M., & Gino, F. (2010). A little thanks goes a long way: Explaining why gratitude expressions motivate prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(6), 946–955. doi:10.1037/a0017935

Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J., & Geraghty, A. W. A. (2010). Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(7), 890–905. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2010.03.005