Why Gratitude is Good
Did you know practicing gratitude is directly tied to happiness? Those who foster and express gratitude are more likely to feel good, improve relationships, and even improve health!
Robert Emmon, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, reveals why gratitude is so good for our bodies, our minds, our relationships, and even our businesses.
In more than a decade of studying the effects of gratitude, he found that in helping others cultivate gratitude, usually by keeping a gratitude journal for three weeks, that the results have been overwhelming.
In studying 1,000 people ages 8 to 60 he found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:
- Stronger immune systems
- Less bothered by aches and pains
- Lower blood pressure
- Exercise more and take better care of their health
- Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
- Higher levels of positive emotions
- More alert, alive, and awake
- More joy and pleasure
- More optimism and happiness
- More helpful, generous, and compassionate
- More forgiving
- More outgoing
- Feel less lonely and isolated
“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.“
Why might gratitude have transformative effects on people’s lives?
- Gratitude allows us to celebrate in the present. It allows us to participate more in life. We notice the positives more, and that can magnify the pleasure we get from life. We spend so much time watching things – movies, computer screens, and sports – with gratitude we become greater participants in our lives as opposed to spectators.
- Gratitude blocks toxic, negative emotions such as envy, resentment, regret, and other emotions that destroy happiness. High levels of gratitude have low levels of resentment and envy and can reduce the duration of episodes of depression.
- Grateful people are more stress-resistant. There is a number of studies showing that in the face of serious trauma, adversity, and suffering if people have a grateful disposition, they’ll recover faster.
- What you focus on expands. As you know, what you focus on expands. By starting your days practicing gratitude – you can attract more to be grateful for.
A Gratitude Practice doesn’t have to take much time:
I’m all about keeping things plain and simple in my life, so it’s a good thing that practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be difficult or take much time. There is always something to be grateful for, we just have to keep our eyes and hearts open to it.
You can start by keeping a gratitude journal by your bed to make it easy to jot down 3 things you are grateful for at the end of the day or use a phone app like Gratitude Plus, to record the things you’re grateful for and reflect on them later when you are struggling. You can also think about gratitude in a different way by focusing on gratitude for what we can give as opposed to what we receive.
Personally, I like to count my blessing throughout the day as I am noticing how much I have to be grateful for. I don’t write them down on a piece of paper. I just say them to myself or speak them out loud.
I found myself doing this very thing after my husband and I spent a week with our son, daughter-in-law, and new grand-baby. I noticed this beautiful life they were building together and took the time to let them know how grateful I was for my time with them and the great job they were doing as parents. I find that taking a moment here and there when I am thinking about someone – to share my thoughts and feelings of gratitude about them – can make all the difference in someone’s day.
If you only say one prayer in a day make it, “Thank you”.
Practicing gratitude as a lifestyle has the potential to not only turn your life around but your business also.
You rarely hear the words “gratitude” and “business” in the same sentence. But the practice of gratitude – and its close sibling, appreciation – has started to infiltrate workplaces with stunning results.
As you practice gratitude in your business and life it can help transform you, and at the same time help you create a community of people who gravitate more to you and your business, leading to deeper connections to each other and to the work you’re doing. In a world where competition can be fierce and standing out can be significant, the act of gratitude transforms an ordinary entrepreneur into an unforgettable business person.
Practicing gratitude helps you escape the negative thought loop because it encourages you to seek out what is good and right and beautiful in your life.
Gratitude in a Time of Pandemic
There is no doubt that living through a pandemic is challenging. But remind yourself that life will return to normal—even if it is a new kind of normal. In the meantime, though, try to look on the bright side during this difficult situation—it’s beneficial for both your mental and your physical health.
What’s more, tapping into gratitude can help you solve problems, be more creative, build resilience, and strengthen your immune system. So, be sure you are stopping to think about what you’re grateful for right now. Doing so can help you cope with COVID-19 and boost your mood along the way.