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Let’s all be grateful

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

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  • Gratitude has a long tradition within world religions, where it is viewed as a virtue that leads to a good life
  • One simple and proven way of cultivating gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal, in which you document the things you’re thankful for each day. Several other strategies are also included
  • From a psychological perspective, the practice of gratitude has been shown to increase happiness and life satisfaction, lower stress, increase your perceived level of social support, improve emotional resiliency and reduce depression
  • Biologically, gratitude reduces pain and lowers inflammation, improves your heart rate variability and lowers your risk for heart disease, and improves sleep and general health by encouraging self-care
  • Studies have also shown gratitude can have a beneficial impact on other areas of your life as well — boosting productivity, reducing materialism and increasing generosity, for example, all of which can improve your general happiness

While a healthy lifestyle can include many different things, perhaps one of the most overlooked is purposely adopting an attitude of gratitude. There’s an awful lot of stress and unhappiness in the world, and gratitude is an effective remedy that costs nothing.

The World Happiness Report, issued annually since 2012, looks at gross domestic product per capita, healthy life expectancy, freedom of choice, social support, generosity and perception of corruption occurring in 156 countries. For 2019, the United States’ ranking dropped for the third year in a row, placing it 19th.

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