The rules of gratitude

Yes! The RULES!!

Seems a little ominous doesn’t it. And to be fair - a successful gratitude practice can be interpreted in so many different ways.

And there really are no rules but I do have suggestions to help you create a habit that actually gives you results.

In what has become quite a landmark study on Gratitude in 2003 by Emmons & McCullough

(Robert Emmons -has been researching these topics since 1984 with many published findings and is now considered the number one Gratitude expert, and Michael McCullough)

the main finding showed that a daily gratitude practice had impressive physical as well as emotional benefits that lasted for months after of stopping the practice.

Lets take a look at some of the benefits. higher levels of

- positive emotions,

- life satisfaction,

- vitality,

- optimism

and lower levels of

- depression and

- stress.


Participants experienced benefits like

- less aches and pains

- better quality and length of sleep

- feeling more positive about the week ahead

- greater desire to exercise

- more likely to make progress towards goals

- higher reported levels of the positive states of

  1. alertness,

  2. enthusiasm,

  3. determination,

  4. attentiveness and

  5. energy


- In a sample of adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention resulted in

- greater amounts of high energy

- positive moods,

- a greater sense of feeling connected to others,

- more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and - better sleep duration and sleep quality


A follow up study in 2008 focusing on children found that

- Children who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and their families


Practicing gratitude literally makes your life better!!

So why not add it in to your daily habits!


And while there are no real RULES, here are some guidelines so that you get the biggest bang for your buck - so to speak.

The Rules / Guidelines

  1. Quality over Quantity

  2. Gratitude has no ‘shallow’ meter.

  3. Gratitude doesn’t like ‘fake news’

  4. There‘s no maximum

  5. You choose your ‘how’


1. Quality over Quantity


The practice of gratitude is more about the emotion of gratitude and less about the ‘list’.

Rather than merely listing off things you’re grateful for, it’s more impactful if