Be Grateful for every second of every day that you get to spend with the people you love. Life is so very precious.
7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude
At this time of the year, many people begin to think of everything they have to be thankful for. Although it’s nice to count your blessings on Thanksgiving, being thankful throughout the year could be very beneficial for your quality of life.
Gratitude can be one of the most overlooked tools we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude does not cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous. Research reveals gratitude can have these seven benefits:
Here are 7 scientifically proven benefits:
Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
Saying “thank you” is not just good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion. The study revealed that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. So, whether you thank a stranger for holding the door or send a thank-you note to that colleague who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities.
Gratitude improves physical health.
Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than others, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are more concerned about their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.
Gratitude improves psychological health.
Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted several studies on the relationship between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
According to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky, grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kindly. Participants in the study who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.
Grateful people sleep better.
Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
Gratitude improves self-esteem.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology showed that gratitude improves athletes’ self-esteem, an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have found that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Instead of being resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs —a major factor in reduced self-esteem— grateful people are able to appreciate the achievements of others.
Gratitude increases mental strength.
For years, research has shown that gratitude not only reduces stress but it can also play an important role in overcoming trauma. A study published in Behavior Research and Therapy in 2006 found that veterans of the Vietnam War with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude contributed significantly to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all that you have to be thankful for —even during the worst times—fosters resilience.
Written by Amy Morin