Research Roundup: 6 Takeaways on the Goodness of Gratitude

More and more scholars are studying the practice of giving thanks. Here’s what they have to say.

“Feeling Gratitude Is Associated with Better Well-Being Across the Life Span: A Daily Diary Study During the COVID-19 Outbreak”

Da Jiang, Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, December 2020

“Numerous studies have shown that gratitude can improve the mental health of people facing stressful events. However, most studies in this area have been based on laboratory experiments and retrospective surveys, rather than actual situations in which people are experiencing stress.”

“This study attempted to fill these gaps by examining the benefits of feeling gratitude every day during the COVID-19 outbreak. … These findings demonstrate the benefits of gratitude in a naturalistic situation that induced stress and anxiety.”

Our read: These researchers studied the simple power of gratitude to improve individuals’ well-being during a global pandemic. In response to a number of other studies showing the value of keeping a “gratitude journal” during traumatic seasons of life, each participant was asked to track daily levels of gratitude in a diary. For Christians, the spiritual benefits of writing down our prayers of thanksgiving to God, especially in hard times, should be self-evident!

“Give Thanks in All Circumstances? Gratitude Toward God and Health in Later Life After Major Life Stressors”

Laura Upenieks and Joanne Ford-Robertson, Research on Aging, August 2021

“Gratitude is foundational to well-being throughout the life course, and an emerging body of work suggests that older adults may be more inclined to attribute gratitude to a non-human target (God).”
“Results suggest that gratitude toward God tends to predict …

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