Today is a good time to pause for a moment to consider the importance and benefits of gratitude. Although it is nice to count your blessings on Thanksgiving with friends and family, being thankful throughout the year could have tremendous benefits on your quality of life. Here’s 7 Benefits of Gratitude.
Gratitude, by definition, is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. It is also a proven attribute that is associated with greater happiness, as well as better physical and mental health. According to Harvard Medical School, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
“We are grateful for our employees, distributors and customers. Happy Thanksgiving from AMMEX!”
Here are 7 Benefits of Gratitude and how they can positively impact your life:
1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships
We all know that saying “thank you” is good manners, but did you know that showing appreciation can help you win new friends and build new relationships?, according to a 2104 study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. So whether you thank a stranger for holding the door or you send a quick thank-you note to that co-worker who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities.
2. Grateful people are more hopeful
Studies have shown that being grateful fosters a sense of well being and hope. When people actively take the time to list the things they are grateful for, they feel better mentally and physically than participants who haven’t done the same. In other words, gratitude’s benefits are not only correlational, but in some cases causal. Gratitude can act “directly, as a causal agent of well-being; and indirectly, as a means of buffering against negative states and emotions.
3. Improve physical health with gratitude
Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups with their doctors, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.
Being appreciative has powerful effects on your body. Researchers have linked gratitude to lower blood pressure, fewer aches and pains, and improved immunity. A 2015 study published in Spirituality in Clinical Practice found grateful people even have healthier hearts.
4. Be a better leader
Want to keep your employees happy and motivated? Show your appreciation. Employees who feel their work is appreciated and recognized by their boss are more likely to work harder. Grateful leaders motivate their employees to be more productive, according to researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The study found that employees who were thanked by their managers made 50% more fundraising calls than their counterparts who hadn’t heard the same token of appreciation.
5. Increase your resilience
Resilience is defined in psychology as the capacity to cope with stress, traumatic events and adversity. There has been a tremendous amount of research that has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. Studies suggest that War Veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Another study found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following September 11. Recognizing all you have to be thankful for – even during the worst times of your life – fosters resilience.
6. Gratitude improves self-esteem
A study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athlete’s self-esteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs – which is a major factor in reduced self-esteem- grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
7. Have more energy to work on your goals
Taking note of what you’re grateful for could help you reach your goals. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that college students who kept gratitude journals reported higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, energy and attentiveness compared to their counterparts.
Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude, not only on Thanksgiving but throughout the year. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have – rather than complain about all the things you think you deserve. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.