Gratitude and Emotional Well Being

Are you grateful for your life? Are you grateful for your family and friends? Are you grateful that you woke up this morning? Are you expressing thanks that you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food in your belly?  In the pursuit of happiness, there are many paths we can take to increase our positive emotions.  Included in this list is the consistent practice of acknowledging and expressing our feelings of gratitude.

There are various benefits of practicing gratitude.

  • Research has shown that expressing your thanks improves your overall sense of well-being.
  • Studies have also shown that grateful people are more agreeable, more open, and less neurotic.
  • Furthermore, gratitude is related negatively to depression and positively to life satisfaction.
  • Gratitude is also a powerful tool for strengthening interpersonal relationships.
  • People who express their gratitude tend to be more willing to forgive others and less narcissistic.
  • Giving thanks to those who have helped you strengthens your relationships and promotes relationship formation and maintenance, as well as relationship connection and satisfaction.
  • In one study in 2003 they found that after 10 weeks, the people who had focused on gratitude in their lives showed significantly more optimism in many areas of their lives, including health and exercise.

We all have things in our life that we consider to be blessings.  To actively engage in practicing gratitude, we need to show our appreciation for those people and things.  We need to actively engage in the process of saying thank you.  Some ways you can do this include:

  • When you wake up in the morning, give thanks to whatever higher power you acknowledge in your life.
  • Set your intention for the day. Expect good things to come your way.
  • Show appreciation to those you encounter.
  • Accept the appreciation that other people show you.
  • At the end of the day, note what you have achieved that you are grateful for. Write down three things that filled you with gratitude or which you brought you a sense of appreciation.

Actively practising gratitude adds to our sense of well-being and feeling of happiness. It improves our emotional state and helps up to be better citizens of the world.


Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance.  She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  For more of her writing visit




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