The Emotional Benefits of Gratitude
As the holidays are approaching, gratitude seems to be a subject popping into more and more people’s minds. Gratitude isn’t just a feeling that should be reserved for the holidays, though. Practicing gratitude in your everyday life can present you with a multitude of benefits, improving your mental health, relationships, and overall quality of life.
Before covering the benefits gratitude has to offer, one must first understand just what gratitude means. Gratitude can best be defined as a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation for the blessings, wonders, and kindness in life.
When one is practicing gratitude, it means that they are taking a moment to focus on the positive things in their life. Gratitude can take form in something as small as appreciating a bird’s song to as big as feeling grateful to be healthy and alive.
The Benefits of Gratitude
Practicing gratitude is one of the most effective and, unfortunately, underrated ways to improve your life. When you take the time each day to focus on the blessings in your life, your life will begin to shine brighter right before your eyes. The numerous benefits of practicing gratitude include:
Improving your social life
When we take the time to extend our gratitude to the people around us, our relationship with them will begin to show it. Everybody loves to feel appreciated, so taking the time to let your friends, partners, coworkers, and family members know how grateful you are for the things they do for you can work to truly strengthen the bond of your relationships.
Boosting mental wellbeing
Gratitude can help improve the symptoms of many different mental health issues, like stress, anxiety, and depression. In one study, researchers asked some students to write daily about things they were grateful for, others to write their irritations daily, and the rest about events that affected them with no more direction given than that. After 10 weeks, the gratitude group was found to be happier and more optimistic than the other groups.
Boosting physical wellbeing
Research has found that gratitude can be extremely beneficial to a person’s physical health and wellbeing. One study examined why this may be and suggests that those who practice gratitude tend to lean toward acting in more healthful manners than those who do not.
Ways You Can Practice Gratitude
As you can see, gratitude is an extremely beneficial practice to add to your everyday life. Ways you can begin practicing gratitude include:
- Journaling. Writing down the things you are grateful for will allow you something to turn to for positivity when you are feeling down.
- Tell someone thank you. Mindfully searching for things to be thankful for will encourage your brain to become mindful of the wonderful acts of kindness that surround you daily.
- Meditate. Take some time to meditate on the things you are grateful for. Gratitude meditation is a fantastic way to start your mornings, allowing you to begin your day feeling grateful.
While the holiday season is a fantastic time to feel gratitude, it isn’t the only time. Work toward making gratitude a habit in your everyday life. It will truly change your life. If you are struggling with negative thoughts and would like to seek help, we are here to help you.
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