Who Wouldn’t Be Grateful?

In an article in the Review of Communication, authors Stephen M. Yoshimura and Kassandra Berzins explore the connection between gratitude expression and psychological and physical well-being.

“Gratitude consistently associates with many positive social, psychological, and health states, such as an increased likelihood of helping others, optimism, exercise, and reduced reports of physical symptoms,” they write.

Numerous studies have shown that expressing and experiencing gratitude increases life satisfaction, vitality, hope, and optimism. Moreover, it contributes to decreased levels of depression, anxiety, envy, and job-related stress and burnout. Perhaps most intriguing is that people who experience and express gratitude have reported fewer symptoms of physical illness, more exercise, and better quality of sleep.

While the immediate effects of gratitude expression are clear, the authors argue that it also contributes to long-term success in relationships and personal well-being “up to six months after a deliberate expression….” Just as we periodically boost our immune systems through vaccines, we can boost our relationships and mental state by expressing gratitude on a regular basis.

This article was adapted from information provided by the National Communication Association.

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