The act of “giving thanks” around Thanksgiving is one thing, but showing “dispositional gratitude” is more of a lifestyle. It involves a life where you count your blessings and see the people around you and your experiences as “gifts” to be thankful for. Studies show that living this way isn’t just something to do because it seems like the right thing to do — grateful people are often healthier people, both mentally and physically.
Although gratefulness is a historically understudied topic, a number of more recent studies indicate that it’s associated with better physical health. For example, in 2013, researchers surveyed 962 Swiss participants, who ranged in age from 19 to 84, about their psychological and physical health, what activities they did that related to health, and how often they felt gratitude. The scientists found a positive correlation between feeling dispositional gratitude and better self-reported physical health.
Excerpted from Inverse