You can elevate your physical and mental health and boost your happiness
Gratitude is being grateful and choosing to appreciate the good in life. We all have the ability to cultivate gratitude through taking time to notice and reflecting upon the things we are thankful for. People who regularly practice gratitude experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have a stronger immune system.
Developing an ‘attitude of gratitude’ is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.
Here are 7 health benefits of practicing gratitude
- Strengthens your immune system –The feelings of appreciation and gratitude have been shown to result in a significant increase in levels of immunoglobulin A – a predominant antibody that plays a crucial role in the immune function against viruses. This results in a stronger immune system.
- You will sleep better – Gratitude increases the quality of sleep – decreases the time one takes to fall asleep and lengthens the duration of your sleep.
- A healthy mind is a healthy body – Our emotions are connected to how our body feels. Being happy instantly kicks in a lot of energy while being sad instantly makes one feel tired and drained out. When we practice gratefulness, we begin to appreciate the good things in life and we feel happier.
- Reduces pain – Gratitude and other positive emotions may have analgesic effects by stimulating the release of endogenous opioids. This would explain why grateful people report fewer aches and pains – they are less sensitive to pain and benefit from greater pain tolerance.
- Relationships are improved – Gratitude has been shown to improve friendships and romantic relationships. Demonstrating gratitude to your friends, partners, or family members will not only make them feel good but also it will make you feel good. And it will make the relationship better. Communicating gratitude also makes it more likely to work through problems and concerns, further strengthening and deepening the relationship.
- You live an optimistic life – When you experience gratitude it will make you feel good. In addition, it will help you notice what is already good in life instead of what is bad. This will help you develop positive feelings about yourself and your life.
- You live longer – Gratitude is strongly correlated with positive emotion. When you are positive you are happier. Happiness improves overall wellbeing. Along With positive psychology research on the rise, optimism and positive emotion extend one’s lifespan. Considering the fact and all the health benefits gratitude provides, being grateful likely increases life expectancy.
How to practice gratitude?
- Keep a gratitude journal – Once in a week, 15 minutes before going to bed, jot down things that you are grateful for, that had occurred in the past week.
- Three highlights of the day – Every day before going to bed make a list of three things that made you feel grateful throughout the day.
- Gratitude towards people – It could be anyone who made you feel appreciated. When you show gratitude towards people around you, you actually make their day as well.
- A gratitude letter – How would you feel if you received a letter from someone who is grateful for having you in their life? The same feeling the other person would feel if you write to them.
- Gratitude bulletin board – Create visual reminders about the things and people in your life that you’re grateful for, and place them in your line of sight.
Practicing gratitude will change the way you perceive life. By the end of the day, it is all about how you feel. Because of the way you feel, people around you are going to feel the same. So why not be grateful and count your blessings for everything that you have?!