Spring 2017 Issue

A Simple Thank You

The Gift that Keeps Giving?

By Marisa Spyker

John Nezlek, professor of psychology at William & Mary, recently published papers examining the relationship between feelings of gratitude and an improved sense of well-being. “We found a positive relationship between people’s sense of gratitude and how they feel about themselves,” said Nezlek. “Individuals who think about the things for which they’re grateful were able to cope with their stress more easily.” Nezlek’s research builds on studies linking gratitude to positive relationships and less anxiety. He examined the causal relationship between gratitude and measures of well-being by looking at the two types of well-being, hedonic and eudaimonic. “Hedonic is a measure of life satisfaction. Eudaimonic has to do with understanding your place in the world.” Nezlek explains. Gratitude on one day was more likely to result in increased hedonic well-being the next day. Moral: count your blessings each night.