Several studies have examined the association between gratitude on psychological and physical health and life satisfaction.

Basically the studies randomize asymptomatic subjects or those with various physical illnesses into 2 groups…

Group 1: To write a daily gratitude list

Group 2: To write about neutral life events

Subjects in both groups are also assigned to keep daily records of their moods and their various physical symptoms for 1-3 months.

They consistently demonstrate that those assigned to the gratitude condition have significant improvements in their moods, coping skills, health behaviors, physical symptoms, and overall quality of life.

Life application: This exercise is not just for your patients, but for yourself. Make a point of writing or texting 3 positive experiences in your day to yourself or to someone close to you. For best results, the positive experiences should ideally be simple events and experiences.

1) I walked the dog in the park, and loved it

2) Made a new vegetarian chili recipe, yummy

3) Called Joe and had a great conversation


“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings”.

-William Arthur Ward


“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”

Brene Brown


References: Emmons R Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Feb;84(2):377-89.
Unanue W et al The Reciprocal Relationship Between Gratitude and Life Satisfaction: Evidence From Two Longitudinal Field Studies. Front Psychol. 2019 Nov 8;10:2480.
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