Navigation Links
Study: Want to be happier? Be more grateful

Want to quickly improve your happiness and satisfaction with life? Then the pen may be a mighty weapon, according to research done by Kent State University's Dr. Steven Toepfer.

Toepfer, an assistant professor of family and consumer studies at university's Salem Campus, says that expressive writing is something that has been available to mankind since ink first appeared in Egypt more than 4,000 years ago.

"Everyone is pursuing the American dream. We are wealthier than previous generations, consuming more and experiencing more, but yet so many of us are so unhappy," Toepfer says. "The question of 'is there something simple we can do to be happier?' is one that I have been thinking about for many years and one that has interested people for much longer."

With that question in mind, Toepfer enlisted students from six courses to explore the effects of writing letters of gratitude to people who had positively impacted the students' lives. Over the course of a six-week period, students wrote one letter every two weeks with the simple ground rules that it had to be positively expressive, required some insight and reflection, were nontrivial and contained a high level of appreciation or gratitude.

After each letter, students completed a survey to gauge their moods, satisfaction with life and feelings of gratitude and happiness.

"I saw their happiness increase after each letter, meaning the more they wrote, the better they felt," says Toepfer, who also witnessed improvement in participants' life satisfaction and gratitude throughout the study. "The most powerful thing in our lives is our social network. It doesn't have to be large, and you don't always need to be the life of the party, but just having one or two significant connections in your life has shown to have terrific psychological and physical benefits."

In all, 75 percent of the students said they planned to continue to write letters of gratitude even when the course was over.

Studies demonstrate, according to Toepfer, that practicing expressive writing is often associated with fewer health problems, decreased depression, an improved immune system and improved grades.

"We are all walking around with an amazing resource: gratitude," says Toepfer. "It helps us express and enjoy, appreciate, be thankful and satisfied with a little effort. We all have it, and we need to use it to improve our quality of life."


Contact: Scott Rainone
Kent State University

Related medicine news :

1. U of M study: Early treatment can reverse heart damage
2. New study: Pine bark reduces perimenopausal symptoms
3. U of M study: Health food supplement may curb addiction of pathological gamblers
4. New study: Pine bark extract reduces ADHD symptoms in children
5. Kaiser Permanente study: Alcohol amount, not type -- wine, beer, liquor -- triggers breast cancer
6. UGA study: Youth exposed to smokeless tobacco ads despite settlement
7. New National Medicaid Study: Minnesota Under Funds Seniors Nursing Home Care $167 Million Annually
8. Study: Modafinil is effective in treating excessive sleepiness
9. Breaking Study: Masimo Pleth Variability Index (PVI) Shown Effective in Noninvasive Detection of Changes in Ventricular Preload and Fluid Volume
10. New study: pine bark extract boosts nitric oxide production
11. Study: HPV test beats Pap in detecting cervical cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted by an ... IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy of its product and its disinfection protocol. ... 30 beds) from May 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, academic medical ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... "When I ... regular bras were incredibly uncomfortable," said an inventor from Bronx, N.Y. "In order ... developed the patent-pending RECOVERY BRA for added comfort and support. The bra is ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... on providing comprehensive solutions involving adult stem cell therapies to patients with chronic ... the “Regenestem” name as a Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are required to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dr. Todd S. ... offer laser services to many of his patients. Dr. Afferica now uses the BIOLASE ... reduce the amount of time the doctor uses other traditional cutting tools, such as ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In an article published ... that determine which patients are or are not eligible for bariatric surgery. The article ... over 40, are more than 100 pounds overweight, or have a BMI of 35 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... --> adds Latest Guidebook for ... of 217 pages published in November 2015 to ... online business intelligence library at . ... of the fastest growing global economies with a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Ascendant Solutions, Inc. (Pink Sheets: ASDS ... of Directors has declared a special 1 percent stock dividend ... payable December 14, 2015, to shareholders of record December 7, ... additional shares of common stock. --> ... a strong endorsement of our confidence in Ascendant,s growth strategy ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) ... of Clinical Services, Education and Human Resources will be presenting ... Oncology Drugs: Health Plan Strategies for a Dynamic Market" on ... Fenrick , a consultant with the Cambridge Advisory Group, where ... The webinar will discuss the rapid growth ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: