In another study, researchers from Harvard, Northeastern University, and the University of California-Riverside found participants who practiced gratitude were more patient than their less grateful counterparts.

In that study, which appears in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, participants were given the opportunity to receive immediate cash or wait for a larger check that would be mailed later. Prior to making their selection, participants were randomly assigned to write about an event that made them grateful, happy, or neutral.

Those who recalled feeling grateful showed more willpower and opted for the larger check. The findings suggest a connection between gratitude and long-term thinking, which may assist in helping people quit smoking, lose weight, and spend money responsibly.