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As Nietzsche so eloquently put it, “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” And he was right – and not just because he was Nietzsche. Although we rarely take time to think about it, gratitude is one of the most important personality traits a person can have. To be grateful for what you have, to express thanks for what you’ve been given, and to appreciate all of it to its fullest is the pure embodiment of gratitude.

But, like many things, we sometimes take gratitude for granted, and don’t stop and realize just how essential it is to us not just as individuals, but to us, as human beings as a whole. Because civilization wouldn’t be where it is today without gratitude (we’ll get to that part later on), here are 28 science-backed benefits of gratitude.