As we enter the new year, it’s important to remember the significance and power of gratitude in the practice of coaching. To help strengthen your “gratitude muscle,” (and be a better resource for your clients) take a look below at some of the most prominent gratitude research.

Studies (some from well-known UC Davis researcher Robert Emmons) have shown that gratitude has broad and long-lasting benefits, including stress reduction, better relationships, higher productivity and increased overall happiness.

Gratitude also improves physical health -- studies show that those with a regular gratitude practice tend to sleep better, have fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than those who don’t. It can also increase empathy, a skill essential for effective coaching.

But perhaps the most impressive research finding is that gratitude tends to increase mental health. Subjects in multiple gratitude studies have reported feeling happier and less depressed when they practice gratitude – and this effect lasted up to 12 weeks after the study finished.

There’s no better time than the new year to commit to a practice of gratitude. To get started, check out this list of 10 Ways to Become More Grateful.

"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson