The study included female and male transplant patients. After completing initial questionnaires about their health and well-being, the subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One of the groups kept a diary about the medication side effects, how they felt about life overall, how connected they were to others and how they felt about the upcoming day. People in the other group also answered the same questions but they were asked to list 5 things or people they were grateful for each day and why they were grateful for them. They were asked to reflect on what they wrote as well. Both groups did this exercise for 21 days. Professor Robert Emmons, leading researcher and expert in the field of gratitude, found that those who kept the gratitude journals scored higher for measures of mental health and well-being. Emmons also found that the other groups? scores declined.
Emmons commented on the findings by saying 'It's likely that health and vitality scores declined in the control group because, unlike the experimental group, they did not benefit from the protective effect of gratitude,' and 'Having a chronic medical condition puts one at risk for deteriorating mental health, and a reduction in one's sense of general health and vitality is an indicator of this. Gratitude may serve as a buffer against these risks.' To read more click here