The Role of Gratitude in Motivation and Well-being


  The Role of Gratitude in Motivation and Well-being

What role does gratitude play in motivation and well-being?

Gratitude has an important role to play in our lives. It not only enables us to find the silver lining in dark days, it also confers many health benefits, including lower blood pressure. Recent studies show that a grateful disposition may also be important for psychological well-being and happiness. And because of the positive impact on how we view and interact with others, gratitude can have a meaningful effect on relationships.

At least one study has indicated that gratitude may even make us more resilient by increasing our ability to cope with adversity (also known as “emotional adaptation”).

Findings from a recent study show a clear positive association between gratitude and overall life satisfaction. Gratitude also appears to be associated with an improvement in well-being, as indicated by such things as feelings of being happy, being close to others, and having positive thoughts more often.

One interpretation of these findings is that gratitude has a positive effect on how people view themselves and the world around them—that is why it is so strongly linked to feelings of happiness and well-being. Indeed, another study has shown that thanksgiving can be one aspect of how people cope with stress—a process that may result in lowering blood pressure (also see my post on "Getting Over It").

Despite these findings, it is important to point out that there has been very little direct research on the effect of gratitude on physical health. We do not know for certain whether gratitude lowers blood pressure, though the fact that gratitude often leads to being thankful, which in turn leads to happiness and well-being, lends credence to this idea. Moreover, a study by psychologist Shai Danziger has shown that gratitude can lead to better health through its impact on more basic processes such as increasing hope and reducing feelings of isolation. This suggests that a grateful disposition may have a powerful impact on how we cope with illnesses. There is even some evidence that gratitude can influence the rate of wound healing, though further research is needed to support this theory.

Another significant finding has been that gratitude may be important for motivation. It seems that people who are grateful have a greater desire to achieve goals and more persistence in getting there. This tendency increases through practice—that is, the more one exercises gratitude, the stronger this influence becomes in daily life. Gratitude therefore appears to offer a route to improved performance and achievement through its positive influence on motivation.

It appears that we can train ourselves to be more grateful by practicing it on a daily basis—by looking for opportunities to express gratitude or simply remembering to do so in everyday life. Studies have shown that this practice can increase one’s positive emotions and well-being. These benefits are primarily seen in the long term, making it a great way to maintain a healthy disposition even during difficult times.

Given the positive influence of gratitude on how we see ourselves, the world around us, and our relationships with others, it is clear that there are many benefits for cultivating a grateful disposition.


Burling, T. (2014). The role of gratitude in motivation and well-being. Review of General Psychology, 18(2), 146-158. doi:10.1037/a0035719 [ARTICLE END]

From the article: "Another significant finding has been that gratitude may be important for motivation...The more one exercises gratitude, the stronger this influence becomes in daily life." I think this is a very significant finding and explains a lot with how to improve people's lives and happiness by taking a grateful approach to life. I believe that by just starting to be more aware of what you have in your life and the things you are grateful for, then it can become a habit. And not just that, but as you learn about gratitude, you'll learn about how powerful it is and why it is something worth cultivating. As a result, this will make you happy, motivated, confident, and productive.

So how do I cultivate gratitude? Well I'm not perfect at it by any means but I believe that by tracking my daily gratefuls for a month (similar to how I did with my 30 days of positive affirmations) then it will help me with this. It can start small by taking 30 seconds each day to thank something small that you are grateful for. As you begin to notice how it makes you feel and see the changes in your life, you'll quickly start to wonder why you didn't do this sooner!

This worked for me on a very basic level but I'm hoping now to expand on that and find some ways that I can cultivate gratitude in bigger ways as well. One thing I've heard of is meditating throughout the day instead of trying to "find time" for it. That could be a good option too, just getting used to meditating throughout the day would be a great way to get used to feeling more grateful overall.

I'll be working on this in the upcoming weeks and no doubt you will see a post about it.


What are some ways that you cultivate gratitude? Let me know in the comments below! I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback. :)

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About Erin Hi! I'm Erin, nice to meet you! ❤️ Summers in Minnesota can be brutal on your skin so I try to follow solutions from people who have struggled with skin issues and were able to fix it. I'm trying to create more content on my blog and research the best skincare products that are on the market… I'm also going to be trying to grow my YouTube channel and share some videos on here :)

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Conclusion. In this article, we have talked about the importance of gratitude as a part of emotional intelligence. You should take the time to be grateful for what you have and grateful for what others do. Gratitude is a virtue which helps us become better people. It is not just about feeling happy to receive beautiful gifts from your loved ones, but it is also about being thankful for being alive.


Gratton C, Gregoire MC, Van Doorn P (2008). "A systematic review of the effects of expressing gratitude". Clinical Psychology Review 28 (3): 339–52. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2007.09.002.

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