Contributing RD&T writer, Andrea Brandt, PHD, MFT, writes how science says that gratitude is good for your well-being. It may feel awkward, but it will make you happier.
Building the best life does not require fealty to feelings in the name of authenticity, but rather rebelling against negative impulses and acting right even when we don’t feel like it. — Arthur C. Brooks, author of Gross National Happiness, in a column in The New York Times.
In the article, from 2015, he argues that “acting grateful can actually make you grateful,” and he uses science to prove it.
A 2003 study compared the well-being of participants who kept a weekly list of things they were grateful for to participants who kept a list of things that irritated them or neutral things. The researchers showed that the gratitude-focused participants exhibited increased well-being, and they concluded that “a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.”