Role of Gratitude in Being Happy

How does having a sense of gratitude contribute to happiness?


From modern research it was found that people who were grateful had higher levels of wellbeing. They were happier, less stressed, less depressed and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. They also have a higher level of control over their environment. And this is extremely important because one of the reasons that cause people depression is the belief that one has no control over their surroundings and that their lives are just running out of control; spiraling downward uncontrollably. Stress is alleviated when one has a sense of control over their life. People with a sense of control have a greater and higher level of personal growth, a sense of purpose and self-esteem. It has been shown that a state of gratitude is uniquely important. Although in a lot of psychological study not much stress is laid on gratitude, but modern research does show that it has a major impact, even more than the big 5 that psychology teaches as the broad personality dimensions. As a result of a new trend in psychology since 2000, called positive psychology, gratitude has become a mainstream feature of their research.

In the Qur’an, Allah says:

لَٮِٕن شَڪَرۡتُمۡ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمۡ‌ۖ

“If you are grateful, you will be given more.” [1]

Meaning, if you are grateful to God in your life, you will be blessed with more.

Modern research shows that gratitude has a positive motivational impact.  A survey conducted showed a 60% increase in the number of customers coming back to a restaurant when waiters personally wrote a thank you on the cheque. In another case, a 70% increase in people was observed at a jewelry store when the management called or mailed its customers and thanked them for coming over. Therefore, gratitude is real, on both spiritual and material levels.


[1] Surah ‘Ibrahim, 14:7

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