Cultivating gratitude can make you happier and improve your health

Dr. Robert Emmons, UC Davis, has been researching gratitude for almost a decade. He has written a best selling book: Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier.

According to Dr. Emmons, three take-home messages from his book are:
1. The practice of gratitude can increase happiness levels by approximately 25%.
2. It is not hard to achieve the benefit of gratitude: a few hours writing a gratitude journal for over 3 weeks can create an effect that lasts 6 months.
3. Cultivating gratitude brings other health benefits such as better sleep and more energy.

In Dr. Emmons’ gratitude study, in addition to keep a gratitude journal, you can also write a gratitude letter to someone who has a positive influence on your life.

Personally, I write thank you notes (via e-mail) and thank you cards as often as I can to colleagues who have made positive contributions towards the success of the projects at work. I am always amazed how happy my co-workers are when they receive my thank you notes. In return, they go out of their way to help the projects to be successful.

Click here for an interview with Dr. Emmons.