Study: Key to happiness is gratitude



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SALT LAKE CITY -- New evidence is out about an easy way to squeeze happiness out of these tough times. It's called gratitude.

The unsettled economy has created more than tough financial times. It's darkened our mood, stoking unhappiness, depression and fear. But there is something easy you can do to lighten the load, make life a little easier, perhaps even improve your health. It's called gratitude.

Gratitude is one of the key positive emotions to having a happy and fulfilling life, but a new study found when it comes to gratefulness, women tend to benefit more than men.

In the latest research published in the Journal of Personalities, Dr. Todd Kashdan looked at the differences between men and women when it comes to expressing gratitude.

Dr. Judy Moskowitz, with University of California San Francisco Osher Center said, "What this tells us is that men may have a little bit harder time counting their blessings or at least talking about it."

Moskowitz says men and women are not only wired differently, they're brought up differently. She said, "In general, women are brought up to feel that expressing themselves is good, that affiliation is good, and men are taught to be more stoic and more self-reliant."

But anyone can learn. "There is very little downside to being grateful and lots of upside," said Dr. Bill Stewart, with California Pacific Medical Center's Institute for Health and Healing.

He says the health benefits of gratitude are significant. He said, "It counters such things as anxiety and depression and pessimism with optimism, energy and well-being, people sleep better, and they're more active." It counters such things as anxiety, and depression and pessimism with optimism, energy and well being people sleep better, and they're more active."

Dr. Kim Mulvihill

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