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Gratitude and Well Being- The Benefits of Appreciation

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Randy A. Sansone, MDcorresponding author and Lori A. Sansone, MD


The word “gratitude” has a number of different meanings, depending on the context. However, a practical clinical definition is as follows—gratitude is the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself; it is a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation. The majority of empirical studies indicate that there is an association between gratitude and a sense of overall well being. However, there are several studies that indicate potential nuances in the relationship between gratitude and well being as well as studies with negative findings. In terms of assessing gratitude, numerous assessment measures are available. From a clinical perspective, there are suggested therapeutic exercises and techniques to enhance gratitude, and they appear relatively simple and easy to integrate into psychotherapy practice. However, the therapeutic efficacy of these techniques remains largely unknown. Only future research will clarify the many questions around assessment, potential benefits, and enhancement of gratitude.

Resource: Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2010 Nov; 7(11): 18–22. Published online 2010 Nov.

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