Before I get into some of the many emotional benefits of practicing an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’, let’s go over what it is.
It is really quite simple. Gratitude is just taking time to think about all the positive things in your life. Rather than running replays on the negatives. You don't even have to actually tell anyone else you are thankful for the things they have done (although, that helps).
Research shows the act of being grateful is the single most powerful method of increasing happiness. And who doesn't want more happiness in their life???
Having an attitude of gratitude doesn’t cost any money. It doesn’t take much time. But the benefits of gratitude are enormous.
Multiple research studies show that those who practice an 'Attitude of Gratitude' experience a more positive life. “They showed a better well-being, a less depressed mood, less fatigue and they slept better,” said the study’s author, Paul J. Mills. “When I am more grateful, I feel more connected with myself and with my environment. That’s the opposite of what stress does.”
This isn't to say these people have lives where everything is going great. It just means that they are acknowledge their blessings. They are grateful for the good that is in their life, for simple pleasures, for everything they receive from others and from God/the universe.
Unfortunately, many people don't even take 5 minutes to reflect on the good in their lives. They actually spend most of their waking hours on auto-pilot. Their attention is on being upset or annoyed by what is lacking in their life or by what they perceive others are doing to them. This lack of gratitude just leads to more of the same (Law of Attraction) and worst like more stress. This stress causes a toxic reaction that resulting in increased inflammation and a impaired immune system. Harming both our emotional health and overall wellness.
Here are some of the positive emotional benefits:
- Gratitude Increases Confidence - Focusing on all the wonderful things in your life automatically causes you to feel more confident about yourself. Even when you reach a plateau (and we all do) it is easier to remain peaceful and stick to your plans, when practicing gratitude.
- Gratitude Strengthens Our Emotions - it reduces feelings of envy, makes our memories happier, lets us experience good feelings, and helps us bounce back from stress.
- Gratitude Helps Us Be More Resilient - helping us have a more pro-active coping style, are more likely to have and seek out social support in times of need, are less likely to develop PTSD, and are more likely to grow in times of stress.
- Gratitude Deepens Friendships - Often we do remember to say 'Thank You' for the big things or for a gift, but also acknowledging the little things someone does for you, often leads to them feeling even more appreciated and a stronger connection to you. Who doesn't like to be appreciated???
- Gratitude Helps Improve Our Productivity - Many of us have difficulty focusing because much of our mental resources are tied up with worries. On the other hand, others are able to be more productive, because they can direct more of their focus towards their work. This operates at both a conscious and subconscious level – we may be getting mentally distracted by our worries, or more commonly, parts of our subconscious mind are expending energy to suppress negative information and concerns
- Gratitude Gives You More Personal Power - Have you ever noticed that when you are aware of how 'right' your circumstances are, you feel more in control and less like a helpless victim? That is the Power of the Attitude of Gratitude!
You might wonder what in the world you can possibly find to be grateful about.
The truth is that your world is full of blessings, whether you notice them or not. Bottom line: incorporating gratitude is a habit and any habit can be changed.
Invest in yourself today by noticing the countless blessings in your life. A few minutes here and there a couple times a week is a start, however daily consistency is what pays out with HUGE DIVIDENDS!
Do you regularly practice the Attitude of Gratitude? How has it changed your life, health, relationships? Please share below in the comments to help inspire others.
Wishing you Health, Joy & Laughter,
P.S. If you found this helpful, share it with someone