Research Says: Be Thankful to Be Happier

“Gratitude is the ‘forgotten factor’ in happiness research,” according to researchers Robert Emmons (Univ. of California, Davis) and Michael McCullough (Univ. of Miami). A workplace news brief in ASAE’s Associations Now magazine, tells how these researchers are conducting a long-term study on gratitude, its causes and its effects on health and well-being.

Highlights from the “Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness” are available at:

Some interesting findings:

  • Gratitude journals improves physical and mental outlook: Individuals who kept weekly journals of what they were grateful for and why “exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week, compared with those who recorded hassles or neutral life events” in such journals.
  • Gratitude helps reach goals: The study shows that people who keep such journals were more likely to have made progress toward personal goals over a two-month period.
  • Gratitude builds empathy: As Associations Now points out, this might be the most important factor for leaders. The study found that “people with strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathic and take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful by people in their social networks.”

I’m grateful to be a member of ASAE, where I get access to interesting articles like this!


Sonia is the marketing strategist & word geek for NeuConcept.