With millions of Americans out of work and stuck at home, it’s hard to find a good reason to be grateful. The fact is, regardless of your circumstances, you can still find ways to express and feel gratitude–and it is scientifically proven to improve your health.
Acknowledging the things you have to be grateful for can improve your sleep, self-esteem, relationships, and more in addition to your physical health. Here are some scientifically proven ways gratitude can enhance your life and health.
Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude experience fewer aches and pains. Grateful people were also shown to take better care of their health.
In a study published in 2012 in “Personality and Individual Differences,” grateful people were more apt to exercise regularly and get regular checkups.
Gratitude has been proven to increase happiness, and reduce depression. Simply being grateful can reduce emotions such as frustration, resentment, and regret. People who are grateful also experience more sensitivity and empathy. This helps you by reducing negative actions such as revenge.
If you want to sleep better, practice gratitude. In a study published in 2011 in “Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being,” spending just 15 minutes before bed writing in a gratitude journal improved sleep habits. Study participants not only slept better but also longer.
Showing appreciation and gratitude towards others will also improve your relationships. It can also allow you to form new relationships with complete strangers.
The simple act of kindness by saying “thank you” or showing appreciation can lead to new opportunities.
The “Journal of Applied Sport Psychology” found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem. Those athletes were also lest resentful towards others which plays a big role in self-esteem. Grateful people are better able to appreciate others’ accomplishments.
Research has shown that gratitude also reduces stress. It is so powerful that it may even help people overcome trauma. A group of Vietnam veterans that participated in a study in 2006 showed that veterans who practiced gratitude had lower rates of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Another study, published in 2003 found gratitude to be a major contributor to resilience. Those who were thankful were more able to foster resilience.
Change Your Attitude
Focusing on what you have instead of complaining can change your life. Just look at all the ways it’s been scientifically proven and you’ll see the difference it can make. Practicing gratitude is not only free but also rewarding and easy to do.
Take a few moments each day to think about all that you are grateful for. Consider keeping a gratitude journal and note what you are thankful for each day. By practicing gratitude you can improve your mental and physical health to lead a happier life.