Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness

 “Do this simple thing every day; wake up, be grateful, be kind and help others. If you do this, your life will be filled with joy.“ His Holiness, The 14th Dalai Lama

“With all I have experienced in my own life, the power of gratitude stands above everything else. In your mindfulness practice, use gratitude until it becomes your way of life.” Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, (20th century)

“When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese Taoist philosopher (6th century BC)


Gratitude is a state of mind defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. Gratitude can also be considered an emotion, a trait, or a virtue.

Multiple studies showed that the feeling of gratitude is associated with better health-related quality of life.

“Positive psychological attributes, such as gratitude, play a critical role in improving cardiovascular health outcomes. Gratitude not only enhances psychological, and physical well-being but may also alter biomarkers of risk for cardiovascular disease.” (Cousin et al., The Journal of Positive Psychology 2021).

Quality of gratitude has been observed e.g., in relation to recovery after acute coronary syndrome. Patients who endured an acute coronary event show better recovery, better endothelial parameters, and better adherence to healthy-preventive behavioral recommendations when revealing grateful emotions.

One study demonstrates that when gratefulness is associated with support-giving behavior, this association leads to regulation of reactivity to threat and reduction of proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-alfa and IL-6 (associated with the development of cancer).

Gratitude represents one of the strengths and virtues, which make up the positive, “good”, character of a person.

How to implement this highly beneficial quality in your daily life?

Try to manifest thankfulness every evening towards 3 different events of the day. Once this practice becomes a habit, you may observe an increase in the cultivation of your overall well-being and good health condition.

For more about health benefits related to practicing of positive emotions  (scientific references included), please go to the “Applied techniques” section => Positive Health.

August 10th, 2023

Author Kristina Höschlová