7 Reasons Why Gratitude is Good for You
Gratitude is one of the easiest and most effective ways to change your mindset but did you know it is also incredibly beneficial for your mental and physical well-being?
Here are just 7 ways that gratitude is good for you:
1. Makes you feel good!
Practising gratitude literally lights up your brain’s reward pathway. Thinking about other people doing nice things floods the brain with positive chemicals and sparks brain activity critical to sleep, orgasms, mood regulation and metabolism.
2. Helps you to shift out of stressful emotional reactions
When we experience heartfelt emotions like gratitude, compassion, and love research has shown that our hearts respond by slowing down into a smooth rhythm. This sends signals to the brain that tell it we are OK and in turn your body functions better and it facilitates higher cognitive functions, which creates emotional stability and an overall feeling of calm.
3. Helps to build a positive mindset
Practising gratitude helps you to challenge negative thought patterns, calms you when you feel anxious and can help to ease the symptoms of depression.
4. Improves your physical health
Not only does gratitude improve your mood but it has also been shown to strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, reduce symptoms of illness, help make you less bothered by aches and pains, and improves your sleep.
5. Increases your resilience
Practising gratitude helps you you to focus on what is going right, enabling you to bounce back from stressful events. It can act as a buffer from internalising symptoms, helping you deal with adversity, setbacks or traumas.
6. Increases Empathy and Compassion
The more thankful you personally feel, the more likely you are to act pro-socially toward others, commit more acts of kindness and feel more compassion. Acting grateful towards others also has a flow on effect where they in turn feel grateful and are more like to be kind towards others, setting up a beautiful virtuous cascade.
7. Helps you feel more connected to others
Feeling grateful for what others do, or give up for you fosters feelings of self-worth and can help you feel a greater connection to, and feel more satisfied with, friends, family, school, your community and yourself!
Focusing on the good, and what is going right, rather than what is going wrong, helps you to begin to see, enjoy and appreciate more of these things everyday. Thereby improving your quality of life and mental resilience.
"Gratitude paints little smiley faces on everything it touches."
RICHELLE E. GOODRICH
Research is ongoing into the many awesome benefits of practising gratitude so it is definitely worth giving it a go.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Write regularly in an AwesoME Inc gratitude journal
- Tell the people you are close to how much you appreciate them.
- Look at the world around you with fresh eyes, notice the small details, listen to the sounds.
- Get out into nature as often as possible and notice how it makes you feel
- Make a conscious effort to do acts of kindness for no reason
- Stay connected to family and friends.
- Spend quality time with the people you love.
- Write a thank you letter to someone who has helped you.
- Even when things go wrong flip it into a positive eg. “I almost missed the bus” becomes “I made the bus in time!”
- Make gratitude a daily habit.