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The Health Benefits of Gratitude

September 8, 2018 by


Gratitude is one thing that everyone has access to, yet very few people take advantage of it. Living a life of gratitude doesn’t cost time or money, but it comes with huge health benefits. By knowing the benefits of being grateful, you may be more likely to incorporate gratitude into your life so you can improve your health and wellness. In this article, you will learn more details about the benefits gratitude can provide.

It Improves Your Physical Health

Studies have shown that grateful people have fewer aches and pains in general and they report feeling more healthy than other people. Additionally, people who practice gratitude are more likely to be concerned with their physical health and take care of their bodies than those who don’t. They eat healthier foods, exercise more frequently, and have a higher likelihood of going to the doctor when needed, which likely contributes to their longevity.

It Improves Mental Health

Living a life of gratitude can help reduce a wide variety of toxic emotions, including anger, resentment, anxiety, envy, and regret. It also helps increase overall happiness and reduces symptoms of depression. Further, grateful people have more empathy for others, even when people are not being kind. Studies have shown that people who rank relatively high on gratitude scales are less likely to retaliate if somebody is negative toward them, even if they are receiving direct negative feedback. Grateful people tend to experience more sensitivity for other people and a lower desire to be revengeful.

The ability to be grateful for everyday things can also increase your willpower, patience, and impulse control, which will all allow you to make more sensible decisions, even those regarding your health and finances.

Additionally, gratitude is associated with more generosity. In fact, gratitude is a form of generosity because it requires you to offer something to someone else, even if it is simply a verbal “thank you”. Generosity is linked to happiness, meaning your brain is wired to increase your happiness when you perform acts of generosity, even if you will not get rewarded for it.

There’s even scientific support for the fact that gratitude can act as an antidepressant. Gratitude triggers the release of chemicals in the brain that have antidepressant and mood-regulating properties, such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and oxytocin. It also blocks the impacts of cortisol, which is a stress chemical.

It Benefits Your Relationships

Having gratitude helps you build more relationships. Not only is saying ?thank you? good manners, but studies have shown that showing thanks can help you make new friends. In fact, thanking a new acquaintance for something makes the person more likely to want to have an ongoing relationship with you. This means that anything from thanking a stranger for holding a door for you to sending a thank you note to a co-worker for helping you with a project can lead to stronger relationships.

Gratitude Improves Self-Esteem

Studies have shown that gratitude increases athlete?s self-esteem, which in turn increases their athletic performance. Researchers have also found that gratitude reduces one’s tendency to compare themselves to those around them. This means that instead of becoming resentful toward others who are more successful or accomplished, people who are grateful can appreciate the great things that other people have done.

Gratitude Improves Mental Strength

Not only does gratitude reduce stress, but it can also help you overcome trauma. One study found that war veterans living a life with more gratitude had lower rates of PTSD. Additionally, gratitude was a major contributing factor to people’s resilience after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Being able to recognize everything in your life that you can be thankful for, even when you are going through tough times, fosters resilience.

To improve your gratitude and reap the health benefits from it, start a gratitude journal or start writing thank you notes to people who have made a positive impact on your life. You can also work on letting go of negativity and only focusing on the positive things going on in your life. While this may take some time and practice, it will help you become healthier in the long run and will allow you to live a happy and stress-free life.

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