Why Is Gratitude Important?
Gratitude is a positive emotion. It’s an appreciation for the gifts that you’ve been given or the ways that you’ve benefited as the result of someone’s actions or the way that events unfolded. Over the years, several studies have shown that learning to embrace this emotion can have a positive impact on your health. Fortunately, it’s easy to invite gratitude into your daily routine.
The Positive Power of Gratitude
The power of gratitude is a tantalizing subject. According to PositivePsychology.com, researchers have discovered that it offers several benefits during recent studies:
- Improved well-being. Expressing gratitude is linked to a sense of stronger well-being. Those who do it tend to be more agreeable, open, and satisfied with life. They’re also less neurotic and tend to be less likely to struggle with depression.
- Stronger relationships. Expressing gratitude helps with forming, maintaining, and deepening relationships. People who do so seem to be more willing to forgive and to feel a stronger sense of connection.
- Greater happiness. Expressing gratitude often creates a positive feedback loop that generates more happy thoughts, encouraging the person to feel happier.
- Increased optimism. Feeling happy and focusing on the positive makes it easier to be optimistic and make healthier choices. This can lead to improved well-being, which feeds the sense of optimism.
- Enhanced self-control. Feeling positive about oneself and one’s choices can strengthen the discipline and focus needed to make healthy choices, making it easier to resist temptation.
- Better health. Positive thinking leads to healthier minds that tend to make healthier lifestyle choices and take steps to reduce stress levels. This has a beneficial effect on physical health.
Harnessing the Power of Gratitude
Why is gratitude important to you? Harnessing the power of gratitude is incredibly easy, so anyone can enjoy the benefits. All you need to do is pick a strategy that works for you. Verywell Mind offers a number of suggestions:
- Say thanks. Take a moment to say thank you to a friend, coworker, or complete stranger who helps ease your path during the day. It’s a flash of positivity that has the potential to be contagious.
- Write a note of thanks. Take time to write a card, text, or email to thank someone. Whether you express gratitude because they completed a specific task or for their presence in your life, your words can offer a boost to you both.
- Be thankful for everyday experiences. Did you find a parking spot near the door on a rainy day? Was a hot cup of coffee the perfect thing to take the chill from your fingers? Were you delighted to find a new book by your favorite author on the shelf? Recognizing, savoring, and being grateful for the small things can help you keep your brain focused on the positive and ready to embrace gratitude.
- Make gratitude a habit. If you want to live with an attitude of gratitude, make it part of your daily routine. Take time each day to think about what you are grateful for. Consider starting a gratitude journal where you write down the reasons that you feel gratitude. If pen and paper feel old-fashioned, start a blog or reach for an app. Some people find meditating helpful. Others incorporate their reasons for gratitude into their prayers. Experiment to find what works for you.
Gratitude is a powerful tool. Using it to make your life happier and healthier is simply good sense.
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