The Benefits of Having an Attitude of Gratitude
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” - Voltaire
We are now in the time of the year where we think of everything we are grateful for.
We all know what gratitude means. It is the quality of being thankful or readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. The word ‘gratitude’ comes from the Latin word gratus, meaning pleasing or thankful.
Research shows that people who are grateful tend to show higher levels of well-being and happiness. I think it is more important during this stressful year to reflect on all the things we can be grateful for. I know during this time, some days are difficult to find a heart of gratitude, but when I do, I feel so much better.
According to Amy Morin, psychologist and author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, here are 7 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude:
Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Showing appreciation can help you win new friends
Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people are more likely to take care of their health.
Gratitude improves psychological health. It reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret.
Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kind.
Grateful people sleep better. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep.
Gratitude improves self-esteem One study found that gratitude increased athlete’s self-esteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance.
Gratitude increases mental strength. Gratitude not only reduces stress, it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma.
And one bonus benefit is there is the feeling of upstream reciprocity, your showing gratitude to others makes them tend to want to repay the favor and not just to you, but to others as well. Imagine. You can spread gratitude in the world.
We can all use a more of that.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
– Robert Brault