Did you know there is a direct correlation between your level of happiness and your level of gratitude?
A study done by Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough in 2003 shows that individuals who think about gratitude report being 10% happier than those who don’t focus on gratitude.
In the study, the participants were divided into three groups. Participants of one group were led through a gratitude exercise, the others were not. When asked to recount 5 experiences from the past week that affected them, participants related more experiences that were categorized as positive than the other groups.
Practicing gratitude creates positive thoughts and feelings. When asked to relate our level of happiness, we associate the feelings that are dominant and interpret our answer accordingly.
We know that feelings are like spring weather in Seattle. Just wait an hour and they will change. Practicing gratitude helps to create and reinforce positive feelings.
In the study, the participants thought of or wrote down what they were grateful for. I wonder if the percentage would have been higher if the participants expressed that gratitude to others or themselves. I believe it would have been higher as people respond positively to us when we reach out in gratitude. The cycle gains momentum and before we know it, our level of gratitude and happiness has increased.
There is much to be grateful for, so try it today.
Stay grateful and positive!