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The emotional and physical benefits of gratitude

 

Narrator:            This is Science Today. How does gratitude benefit us? Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, is one of the world's leading scientific experts on gratitude. He says grateful people have advantages when it comes to success in life.

Emmons:            They tend to be happier, tend to be more satisfied, but they also tended to be doing good things, as well. It's not just feeling good that gratitude produces positive feelings but also leads to doing good, leads to acts of generosity, compassion. Grateful people are more forgiving, grateful people our more pro-social.

Narrator:            Emmons says various studies have also shown that those who are grateful are more stress-resilient.

Emmons:            In the face of serious life situations, if people are dispositionally grateful, they recover faster, they're less bothered by some of the negative emotional symptoms in the aftermath of trauma if they are previously grateful individuals, so it gives people perspective in which they can interpret life events.

Narrator:            For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.