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Gratitude Really Does Make You Healthy

By Mormon.org
A young woman sitting by a window and smiling

Gratitude is more than a verbal expression; it’s an attitude we carry of appreciation for the people around us and the things we have been blessed with. Both the expression of gratitude and the optimistic attitude it brings can have positive effects on your health. Happiness greatly affects our emotional and mental health, and increasing your happiness can be as simple as expressing thanks. An article published on Harvard University’s website explores the benefits of expressing gratitude and how the expression of thanks helps develop a happy state of mind.

The article discusses several studies based on this idea. One study showed that simply writing down things they were grateful for helped the participants feel more optimistic about life. Beyond personal happiness, the article discussed other benefits of expressing gratitude, including an increased trust with your spouse and motivation for employees to work harder. And no matter our current state, any individual can continue to cultivate gratitude. 

Here are a few suggestions on cultivating more gratitude within yourself:

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Every day write down something you’re grateful for.
  • Write thank you notes. Take the time to reach out to a friend who has helped you, and let them know you appreciated it.
  • Pray. Thank God for all you’ve been blessed with.

The following video shares more ideas on how to increase in gratitude.

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“Humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and … live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you” (Alma 34:38).

Meet with the missionaries to learn more ways to bring happiness into your life.