There are so many benefits of gratitude. It’s wonderful for your body, mind, and spirit. In this article, I’m going to cover the benefits of gratitude in detail. This will give you the motivation to start becoming more grateful for what is already working in your life.
Practicing gratitude is also a wonderful way to improve how you feel instantly. To feel happier and more fulfilled. Here are some fun and very easy and effective ways to incorporate the practice of gratitude into your life.
To make the most of the benefits of gratitude, I recommend that you practice being grateful for a few minutes every day.
What are the Benefits of Gratitude?
Gratitude makes you feel good and this improves your mental and physical health. Have you noticed that when you achieve or gain something (for example a new car), you feel excited, happy and grateful, but the feeling doesn’t last. It soon becomes a normal experience.
When you focus all your attention on achieving more, this creates a habit or pattern of taking things for granted, because you’re focusing on what you don’t have.
Achieving is a good thing, but you want to do it in a way that makes you feel happy and fulfilled at the same time. Why do you want to achieve something in the first place? – My guess is that it’s probably to experience some kind of emotion such as happiness, fulfillment or satisfaction. However, you can have these emotions now without having those things.
I’ve also found that if you focus too much on wanting to achieve something, this gives an energetic message to the universe that says “I want that”. However, the feeling of wanting is different from having. Wanting something means that you don’t have it yet and that is a different feeling that the universe picks up on.
By practicing gratitude, you focus on what you already have. This sends the message of “having” to the universe.
So let’s look at some of the benefits of practicing gratitude.
Improves Physical Health
People that practice gratitude daily have fewer aches and pains. They look after themselves better and exercise more often. They have lower blood pressure, live longer and have more energy.
Practicing gratitude regularly helps you sleep better by sleeping for longer and getting deeper, restorative sleep. When you worry about things before you go to sleep, the level of stress in your body increases and that reduces your sleep quality.
If you practice gratitude instead by focussing on what you already have and what’s going well in your life, then this initiates the relaxation response. Your body can then relax and you’ll sleep much better.
Before you go to sleep tonight, I invite you to do the following:
- Think about three things that went well today.
- Think about three things that I’m grateful for.
As mentioned above, being grateful induces the relaxation response. This then lowers the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. Lower levels of cortisol mean you feel more relaxed.
Improves your Mental Health
One of the other benefits of gratitude is a lower chance of becoming depressed or developing other mental illnesses. Think of being grateful as fitness for the mind.
Enhanced Self Esteem
Being grateful improves your levels of self esteem. You have less resentment towards other people that appear to be doing better than you. Instead, you appreciate their accomplishments. You’re less likely to compare yourself with other people and have greater satisfaction in your life as well.
Practising gratitude improves your resilience and mental strength. A study measuring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Vietnam War veterans found that people that were more grateful during the war and afterwards generally had fewer symptoms of PTSD. A study undertaken after the 9/11 attacks found that people that were more grateful of what they had before the attacks seemed to deal better in the aftermath of the attacks.
Practising gratitude helps you to change past memories. Your memories are not set in stone. They’re not like files in a computer where the information stored never changes. Memories can and do change over time. You may remember things as better or worse than they really were. The people in that memory may have been kinder or crueller. Gratitude increases the chances of remembering those things in a more positive way. It can also help you gain closure from upsetting memories.
Improves your Emotional Wellbeing
Being grateful helps reduce many negative emotions such as frustration, anger, regret, envy, aggression, revenge and resentment. It also helps increase your level of happiness. Practising gratitude makes you feel good, which in itself is a great reason to practise it.
Better Relationships and Social Life
One of the other benefits of gratitude is improved relationships and social life. When you feel grateful, people will like you more, you will come across as more trusting. You will be more social and appreciative. You will have more friends, deeper friendships and a better relationship with your partner as well.
More Career or Business Success
When you feel good about yourself and grateful for what you already have, you will be more productive and make better decisions. You will be more positive, solution focussed and find it easier to get results through other people.
Practising gratitude helps you to focus on the positive (the things you already have), rather than the negative (what you don’t have). When manifesting, it’s so important to focus on what you do want. A great way to do this is to focus on what you want AND what you already have. This helps you get the feeling of having what you want NOW.
How to practice gratitude on a daily basis
Hopefully, you’re now sold on the benefits of gratitude, so I’ll now cover a few quick ways to do this.
A gratitude journal is simply writing down the things that you are grateful for. Things you might include could be your body, physical & mental health, family & friends or books & resources that you’ve benefited from. It could also be happy memories from the past or even small things like your heart beating consistently every day, or having running water and electricity.
Ask yourself the following questions
- What am I grateful for in my life?
- What am I proud of in my life?
- What do I love about my life?
- What made today great?
- What was good about today?
Notice what comes up when you ask these questions. Gratitude questions are powerful because it focuses your mind on answering the question and this will lead to more things that you are grateful for.
Gratitude Bucket List
You probably already have a bucket list for holiday destinations, experiences and people you would like to meet. What about having a gratitude bucket list? Think of all those things that you have already achieved, the places you’ve already visited, the people that you’ve already met, Create a gratitude bucket list of all the things you’ve already achieved.
Showing Appreciation to Others
What can you do that will brighten up someone else’s day? How could you show gratitude or appreciation for something that someone else has done? You can show your gratitude and appreciation face to face, via text message, email or on social media.
As you can see, there are lots of great benefits of gratitude. I hope this convinces you that it’s worth practicing being grateful on a daily basis. Best time is first thing in the morning when you get up and just before going to bed.
However, practicing being grateful throughout the day is great as well. It will make you feel better about yourself and happier too. It will balance your life as you’ll be focusing on things you already have, as well as focusing on the things you want.
If you enjoyed reading this article, please leave a comment or question below. I would love to hear what you think!