The Gratitude Effect

Mind your manners. Say “please” and “thank you.” We all remember the instructions our parents gave us so we would grow up to be polite, well-mannered people. But giving thanks is more than just a good habit. It turns out that making a concerted, consistent effort to notice the good things changes us. Here’s how:

  1. Feel happier. A University of California study showed that subjects who wrote down one thing they were grateful for every day reported being 25 percent happier after following this practice for just two weeks. Not a writer? Record a memo on your phone and replay it when you need to get in the grateful zone.
  2. Get healthier. Grateful people tend to appreciate their health more, which leads them to take better care of themselves by exercising more, getting enough sleep and avoiding potentially damaging activities such as excessive drinking. Get started with a leisurely stroll on your lunch break — the reflective time will do your body, and mind, some good!
  3. Be more resilient. Taking the time to notice the good things actually rewires our brains to seek out the positive in any situation — even awful ones.
  4. Be a nicer person. When you express gratitude to a friend, colleague or spouse, it triggers a “feel good” response in their brain, and they feel grateful in return. Make a point to pay it forward with a simple “thank you!”

Inspired to learn more? Watch these Ted Talks.

Shawn Achor, The Happy Secret to Better Work

Give Thanks: Seven Ted Talks on Gratitude


By: Gina Munoz, senior manager of field operations for Cox Communications, Pensacola, Fla.

“Gratitude Works!” by Robert Emmons
What Gratitude Can Do for You by Louisa Kamps, “TIME Mindfulness,” August 2017