Top 5 Ways That Practicing Gratitude Improves Your Health
“Top 5 Ways That Practicing Gratitude Improves Your Health”
It may be the season of giving thanks, but practicing gratitude can really help you all year long. Gratitude not only helps our mental health, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving, improving our physical health as well. Shifting our focus to positive experiences and emotions is very transformative. Here are some science-backed ways that gratitude benefits your body, mind, and life.
- Reduce Your Anxiety
Experiencing gratitude from helping others and appreciating the positive things in your life can make you a happier person, which is shown to reduce anxiety and depression. Excessive worry, depressed thoughts, negativity, distress, and nervousness are naturally reduced when a person has a greater sense of well-being and happiness in their lives.
- Improve Your Heart Health
Acknowledging what you’re grateful for—and writing it down—could be good for your heart. Studies have shown that gratitude has been associated with reduced inflammation in heart patients. Furthermore, those that kept gratitude journals had healthier heart rhythms and experienced better sleep at night.
- Experience More Energy and Focus
Even small acts of gratitude have been shown to improve job satisfaction and quality of life. The way this happens is through the trickle-down effect. When a person feels appreciated, they tend to show more gratitude themselves. In families, social circles, and workplaces, this leads to a stronger sense of purpose, motivation, and focus.
- Sleep Better
If your brain goes into overdrive before bed, focusing on the good might help you get more sleep. Studies have found that grateful people are less likely to think negative and worrying thoughts when they’re falling asleep, and are more likely to think positive thoughts. They fall asleep faster and have greater sleep quality and duration. As a result, they are more alert during the day.
- Decrease Your Risk of Disease
Having gratitude leads many people to exercise more consistently and go in for scheduled preventative care visits. Regular exercise, along with checking in more frequently with your providers can lead to a decreased risk of disease. Gratitude has also been found to also reduce aches and pains. Studies have found an increase in disease-fighting cells in those who practiced gratitude, boosting the immune system and keeping you healthier. Also, there has been a strong correlation between gratitude and a reduction in blood pressure. Take a deep breath, find something to be grateful for, and reduce your hypertension.
Practicing Gratitude Daily
So now that we have shown how beneficial gratitude can be for your health, what are the different ways you can begin to bring gratitude into your life?
- Keep a Gratitude Journal– Spending 5 minutes every day writing down what you are grateful for from the day can help you experience the positive effects of gratitude.
- Send a thank-you note – A gift is not required to send a note of appreciation or thanks. Not only does the act of gratitude boost you, but the recipient will surely benefit too.
- Gratitude Meditation – Just as it sounds, you reflect on all the people and things you are grateful for through meditation. Taking a few minutes each day, maybe before you get out of bed, waiting for the coffee to brew, or in a school pick-up line, can help you improve your well-being.
Regardless of how you decide to begin practicing gratitude, know that the more you express gratitude, the healthier you will become. Research has shown many times now that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. So, share and spread gratitude!