Study Proves Thankfulness Contributes to Happiness

Being involved in gratitude activities can bolster one’s overall sense of happiness. (Photo via

Research findings suggest that the expression of gratitude leads to heightened positive emotions and increased overall happiness, all the while diminishing depressive tendencies and elevating life satisfaction.

Washington, D.C. (ADH News) – Are you consistently filled with gratitude for the things and people in your life? The act of practicing gratitude can be cultivated, and the extent to which gratitude is expressed is associated with one’s happiness. A study published in Psychology for Clinical Settings in 2019 showed that practicing gratitude can help increase positive emotions and happiness while reducing depression and improving life satisfaction.

The research team of the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA) targeted 1,337 subjects and divided them into three groups, namely “Gratitude group,” “Hassles group,” and “Neutral Events group.” The members of the Gratitude group need to write down a 14-day daily gratitude list. The Hassles group needs to record the events and situations in which they feel hassles every day, and the Neutral Events group needs to record the real things that happened that day, whether gratitude or hassles.

To analyze the were affect, depression, happiness, and life satisfaction of the three groups, the subjects filled in the positive affect and negative affect schedule (PANAS), center for epidemiological studies depression scale (CES -D), subjective happiness scale (SHS), and satisfaction with life scale (SWLS).

Results show that the Gratitude group successfully increased positive emotions, subjective well-being, and life satisfaction while reducing negative emotions and depressive symptoms. The Gratitude group and the Neutral Events group show similarities, likely due to their experimenters recording positive life events.

Learning to be grateful is like learning to be happy! When people are grateful for the people or things in their lives, they can increase their positive emotions, and then feel happy and not lonely, because they know that when they encounter difficulties, someone in life will provide warmth and help, and many things are not that bad.

How are you feeling lately? Many experts also recommend “writing a diary” to relieve stress. Turning emotions into words can commemorate positive emotions, soothe negative emotions, and calm people down. It also allows you to reflect on both positive and negative experiences, helping you manage your emotions more effectively. Over time, keeping a diary can be a valuable tool for personal growth and self-improvement as it allows you to track your emotional journey and identify patterns or areas for development.


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