Counting One's Blessings Can Reduce the Impact of Daily Stress
Participants in the present study, adults living in the community, described their well-being and the stress they experienced each day for 2 weeks. Before completing these diaries each day, half of the participants described the things for which they felt grateful that day, and half completed the diaries without doing this. Multilevel modeling analyses found that daily feelings of gratitude were positively related to well-being at the within-person level, and lagged analyses suggested a causal link from well-being to gratitude. In addition, relationships between daily stress and daily well-being were weaker for people who had been asked to think about the things for which they were grateful than they were for those who had not been asked. These results suggest that counting one's blessing can reduce the negative effects of daily stress, which in turn may have positive long-term effects on mental health.