November is a time of year when many choose to reflect on the past year and give thanks. Gratitude has become a popular concept in recent years, with many pop culture figures and thought leaders promoting “attitudes of gratitude” and encouraging others to practice gratitude in their everyday lives.
A large body of research has linked gratitude to happiness, health, and stronger relationships, but recent findings from the Greater Good Science Center indicate that gratitude has other individual benefits as well. For example, practicing gratitude can trigger self-improvement by helping those who practice it feel more connected to others, inspiring elevated spirits, and encouraging humility.
Similarly, other studies suggest that gratitude can also help people with cardiovascular disease get healthier, by contributing directly to beneficial effects of overall well-being on sleep quality, mood, and fatigue.
In addition to the research extolling the individual benefits of practicing gratitude, the GGSC Magazine has published articles about the role of gratitude in transforming the workplace and cultivating a more trusting society.
The Greater Good Science Center, based at UC Berkeley, studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, exploring the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior. As a bridge between the research community and general public, they sponsor scientific research about social and emotional well-being, in addition to equipping people with tools and skills to apply the research to their personal and professional lives. Learn more about the Greater Good Science Center website, or visit their online magazine.