1) Increased happiness and overall well-being
A research study by the American Psychological Association found that teens, like adults, experience a variety of benefits from the act of gratitude. The author of numerous studies about gratitude, Giacomo Bono, PhD, psychology professor at California State University, had this to say about the benefits of gratitude in high school aged teens: “Increases in gratitude over a four-year period were significantly related to improvements in life satisfaction, happiness, positive attitudes and hope.”
According to the Harvard Medical School, “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
2) Lower occurrence of depression symptoms
Teens who express gratitude on a regular basis typically report fewer symptoms of depression. Giacomo Bono, PhD, suggests this is a result of being connected and reminded of the good aspects of one’s life. "People who are grateful are more optimistic and hopeful, feeling they have the resources to be successful in their future," said Bono. Click here for more information.
The same goes for adults: researchers at York University in Toronto found that depressed study participants who completed a “gratitude exercise” every night, were less depressed six months after the study was complete.
3) Greater contributions to society
According to a 2010 study of gratitude in teens by Froh, Bono & Emmons, "gratitude ignites a passion for helping others and contributing to society." The study indicates teens that are grateful tend to be more connected to their communities and want to give back, both as teens and later as adults.
So how can you reap the benefits of gratitude? Here are some ideas:
- Say thank you to those around you – and mean it!
- Write a thank you note for a gift
- Write a note to thank someone who has helped you or impacted your life in some way
- Take time each day to count your blessings – write them down so you can remember them on hard days
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