7 Astounding Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

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Practicing gratitude opens the door to more relationships, improves physical health and psychological health, enhances empathy and reduces aggression, grateful people sleep better and increases mental strength.

During Thanksgiving in America, people count their blessings and begin thinking about everything they have to be thankful for. Although it’s nice to be grateful and express gratitude on Thanksgiving or other similar occasions, being thankful throughout the year could have tremendous benefits on your quality of life. In fact, gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous. In this article, we are going to discuss 7 astounding health benefits of practicing gratitude. Read on to find out everything that you need to know about practicing gratitude.

7 Surprising Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

Gratitude Opens the Door to more Relationships

Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends. If you thank a new acquaintance, then it makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship with you. So whether you thank a stranger for holding the door or you send a quick thank-you note to that co-worker who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities. This can be particularly helpful for those, who are socially awkward and want to mix with more people.

practicing gratitude daily

Gratitude Improves Physical Health 

Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health.  They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups with their doctors, which is likely to contribute to further longevity. This is because they value good health and are thankful for a healthy life every single day. Therefore, they don’t take their physical health for granted.

Gratitude Improves Psychological Health

Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression. This is because gratitude makes you realize that no matter how difficult things get, you will always have something or the other to be grateful for. This attitude goes a long way in boosting your self-esteem and making you feel less depressed than before.

Gratitude Enhances Empathy and Reduces Aggression

Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner, even when others behave less kind. Instead of giving in to their worst emotions, they try to understand the various reasons behind a person’s behavior and try to see things from their perspective. This opens multiple views for them and they learn how to tackle all kinds of situations involving all kinds of people. This reduces aggression in them and makes them more empathic towards others.

Grateful People Sleep Better

Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer. Making a journal of things you are thankful for will provide you a much-needed introspection in your life. You can also look back at your journal on days you feel like a total failure, this will help you remember all the things you were thankful for in the past.

Gratitude Improves Self-Esteem

Gratitude increased an athlete’s self-esteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance. Gratitude also reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs; which are a major factor in reduced self-esteem; grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.

Gratitude Increases Mental Strength

Gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. People with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Recognizing all you have to be thankful for; even during the worst times of your life; fosters resilience. While it may not solve your problems, practicing gratitude over an extended period of time reduces stress gradually and helps you deal with your painful trauma by reminding you of all the things you should be thankful for instead. Over time, this will slowly reduce the trauma and help you deal with it in a better manner.

Therefore, to conclude, there are only benefits of practicing gratitude, with zero side effects. We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have, rather than complain about all the things you think you deserve.  Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3010965/

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