The Scientific Effects Of Gratitude: A Review

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Nour Abdullah


Objective: to examine the scientific evidence of the impact of gratitude on the body, including the psychological and physical benefits. The focus of the review was directed towards the impact of gratitude on happiness and depression, in addition to the changes that were observed in the brain using magnetic resonance imaging, as well as, the scientifically-based gratitude practices. Methods: Data was collected and analyzed from the following databases: PubMed, Taylor, and Francis Online, NCBI, and ProQuest. Specific effects of gratitude in controlled studies were discussed. Results: The well-rounded results strongly confirmed that scientific evidence supported the benefits of gratitude and was consistent with the hypothesis that gratitude has a positive impact on the mind and body. Furthermore, the active practice of gratitude was found to stimulate the neurological functions controlling positive emotions and social interactions, impact the physiology of the heart while also increasing the feeling of happiness and decreasing depressive symptoms. Conclusion: Gratitude is associated with greater physical and psychological health. This was supported by scientifically based evidence including function magnetic resonance imaging, heart rate, and validated questionnaires for depression and anxiety. Incorporating gratitude practices such as writing a gratitude list is a useful element in the improvement of well-being while promoting mental and physical health. 

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