Gratitude can improve your life, and may even save it! No really. Dartmouth posted this web page on the importance of gratitude: http://www.umassd.edu/counseling/forparents/reccomendedreadings/theimportanceofgratitude/
Here’s a clip from that page:
"Researchers ... are turning their attention to the study of gratitude and its relationship to health and mental well-being. I will present some of their findings here to help us understand how gratitude is helpful and why it's important to our well-being.
People who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis have been found to exercise more regularly, have fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and feel more optimistic about their upcoming week as compared to those who keep journals recording the stressors or neutral events of their lives.
Daily discussion of gratitude results in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy, and sleep duration and quality. Grateful people also report lower levels of depression and stress, although they do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.
People who think about, talk about, or write about gratitude daily are more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or offered emotional support to another person.
Those with a disposition towards gratitude are found to place less importance on material goods, are less likely to judge their own or others success in terms of possessions accumulated, are less envious of wealthy people, and are more likely to share their possessions with others.
Emerging research suggests that daily gratitude practices may have some preventative benefits in warding of coronary artery disease."
"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving