An Experiment in Gratitude

This video is old (2013), but I think it’s a good time to revisit it. It is the first in a series of videos produced by Soul Pancake (the same people who brought us Kid President) on The Science of Happiness. In “An Experiment in Gratitude,” the host shares the results of a study devised to determine how much gratitude affects happiness. The adults who are featured each take a survey to get a base line score for their happiness levels, and are then asked to write a letter to thank someone who has made a positive difference in their life. To their surprise, they are asked to call the person they wrote to and read the letter out loud.

I won’t divulge the results of the experiment, but I think you can predict that expressing gratitude does boost levels of happiness. If you want to get more into the science, here is an article that explains how the two emotions are related. And, if you are not feeling particularly grateful lately (because, you know, pandemic), here is another article on how you can make a conscious effort to change that.

This video is only about 7 minutes long, so it’s a good one for older students. However, be aware that there is some “language” between 5:20-5:27 that may not be considered appropriate by some. If you are looking for some ideas on how to encourage your students to think about gratitude, be sure to check out my Thankful Wakelet, which has many links for all ages. And for more Inspirational Videos, try my Pinterest Board.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

5 Replies to “An Experiment in Gratitude”

  1. Val_ToWriter – USA – I really want to be a children's writer. I've been a children's teacher all my working adult life -- first my own children, then other's. In school, writing was my strength, but when I went to university, I studied Medieval History. Go figure. Then when my kids were all in school I got a M.Ed. in elementary education and ended up in teaching technology -- which doesn't mean I can manipulate Word Press faultlessly. My first "real" job involved public relations writing -- and that runs the gamut from getting down basic facts to speech writing and promotional pieces. When I became a teacher, most of my writing was either unit and lesson plans or report cards comments! But I've had a few things published from time to time in the local newspapers when something strikes me as exceptionally interesting or really irritating. Now that I've retired, I'm writing to practice for what one day will be a children's book. I've got a critique group and I listen to them. I'm reading kidlit. I'm learning all the time, and I'm also realizing that history is pulling me back from the past (and my past).
    Val_ToWriter says:

    I love your “Experiment in Happiness” and I think I will try it perhaps in a personal, private blog, and then expressing those sentiments in words as I see people in the near future, like on Thanksgiving or Christmas. I’m 72 (nearly 73) and it’s probably about time I expressed some of my deepest feeling in person, while I still have the mind and body to do it!

  2. Terri Eichholz – Terri is a curriculum and tech integration specialist, speaker, and author with a passion for engaging and empowering learners. She delivers engaging professional learning, consultations on a variety of educational needs, and professional articles for various outlets . Find out more about Terri on the About page in the site menu.
    engagetheirminds says:

    That is so lovely to hear! Thank you for reading the blog and your kind comment. It sounds like you have some special people in your life, and that they are lucky to have you in theirs!

  3. Terri, I’ve decided to revive the “Power of Appreciation” blog started a few years ago… and part of the home page has that video on it! I also share this video every year with my 7th graders (the one I have bleeps out one word). They shed some tears along with me (every class period). 🙂 LMK if you’d like to write a post to someone! (See the “home” page for the same video you shared.) Thank you for posting (again)!! http://thepowerofappreciation.blogspot.com/

    1. Terri Eichholz – Terri is a curriculum and tech integration specialist, speaker, and author with a passion for engaging and empowering learners. She delivers engaging professional learning, consultations on a variety of educational needs, and professional articles for various outlets . Find out more about Terri on the About page in the site menu.
      engagetheirminds says:

      That’s so great! I do have many people I would like to post about so I need to figure out how to narrow it down a bit! Such a good idea, and thanks for pointing out the “bleeped out” video. That will definitely encourage more teachers to share it. Replacing it now!

    2. Terri Eichholz – Terri is a curriculum and tech integration specialist, speaker, and author with a passion for engaging and empowering learners. She delivers engaging professional learning, consultations on a variety of educational needs, and professional articles for various outlets . Find out more about Terri on the About page in the site menu.
      engagetheirminds says:

      LOL! I just realized I do have the bleeped one – but one word is not bleeped that teachers of younger students may oppose. (“long-a** letter”)

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