The Benefits of Gratitude

Research shows that practicing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to boost your happiness and well-being. In fact, gratitude has been scientifically proven to have positive effects on the following aspects of our lives:

Psychological Health
Physical Health
Relationships
Sleep
Self-Esteem
Resilience
Empathy


Psychological Health

Gratitude has been scientifically shown to reduce unhealthy emotions, such as envy, resentment, frustration, and regret which can create toxic headspaces. Studies have also shown that practicing gratitude can reduce depression. When gratitude is expressed towards others, it can even increase the well-being of both the expresser and the recipient!

Links
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-018-9847-1
https://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/nicholas.epley/KumarEpleyGratitude.pdf
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-012-9380-0


Physical Health

People who practice gratitude are more likely to report feeling healthier and feeling less aches and bodily pains - and practicing gratitude can even decrease your likelihood of heart disease! Studies have also shown that people who practice gratitude are also more likely to exercise, eat healthier, and take better care of themselves.

Links
https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/04/grateful-heart
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103117308569


Relationships

Practicing gratitude can help you build better relationships, whether in your personal or work life. One study showed that couples who take time to express gratitude to their partner felt more positive about their partner and also felt more comfortable with their partner. Another study showed that managers who express gratitude to their employees may have employees who are motivated to work harder.

Links
https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2010-09990-007


Sleep

For those of us who have trouble sleeping through the night, practicing gratitude can be a simple way to get better sleep, Studies have shown that gratitude can improve your sleep quality and sleep duration significantly (along with positive effects on your daytime well-being too).

Links
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022399908004224
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/pdfs/GratitudePDFs/2Wood-GratitudeWell-BeingReview.pdf


Self-Esteem

By reducing comparisons of ourselves with others, practicing gratitude can help boost our appreciation of ourselves. In turn, having healthy self-esteem can lead to more optimal performance in our everyday lives by being more confident and open to feedback and growth opportunities.

Links
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/self-esteem/art-20047976


Resilience

Gratitude not only reduces stress, but it can also help people overcome trauma. One study found that Vietnam War veterans who express more gratitude have lower rates of post-traumatic-stress-disorder. Another study found that giving thanks had a large effect on resilience after the 9/11 attacks. Practicing gratitude can help people get through tough times.

Links
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16389060
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755263/


Empathy

Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude have greater empathy for others and are more likely to behave kindly even when others do not. Grateful people are also likely to have lower levels of aggression and decreased desire for retaliation or revenge - leading a more healthy lifestyle.

Links
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550611416675


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