Benefits of Gratitude
Gratitude is very often underrated. However, it has more power to transform than we give it credit. God wrapped so much potential into this practice that we must exercise this gift. This simple act could replace the supplements you are taking, the therapist you are seeing and change the environment of your life. When you improve, your family, business and community will improve. We collected some of the proven benefits of gratitude:
1. Gratitude makes us Happier
Happier people work better and have more creative ideas. Gratitude produces more gratitude, it is a positive feedback loop. This is so significant. Many of the things that people believe will make them happy do not enter a loop that keeps generating the same emotion. This is because of something called hedonic adaptation. After repeated exposure to the same emotion-producing stimulus, we tend to experience less of the emotion. In simple terms, we get used to the good things that happen to us. It’s a good thing in that it keeps us motivated to achieve great things but we must possess gratitude so that we can always enjoy every seasons of life.
2. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
Success in business and life is a series of great relationships. A study from 2014 published in Emotion found that showing appreciation can help you win new friends. Thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. Communicating gratitude for someone’s contribution to your life whether small or big can lead to more opportunities.
3. Gratitude improves physical health.
Physically healthy people have energy which is essential to our jobs. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.
4. Gratitude improves psychological health.
People pick up on our energy; when toxic emotions are eliminated we impact our work place positively. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. It has been found to reduce stress levels by activating the para-sympathetic nerve system. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression. This verse promises that prayer and thankfulness will protect our minds:
5. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
People who are compassionate and self-controlled are better co-workers. In a study conducted by the University of Kentucky (2012) it was found that participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They were more sensitive and empathetic toward other people and showed a decreased desire to seek revenge. Behavior like this adds to the productivity of our workplaces as the benefit of accountability and feedback are channeled into growth rather than frustration.
6. Grateful people sleep better.
Well rested people have the most to offer in a workplace. In a 2009 study titled “Gratitude influences sleep through the mechanism of pre-sleep cognitions” it was found that gratitude correlated with improved sleep quality, less time required to fall asleep and increase sleep duration. Sleep deprivation is used as a method of torture that impairs us physically and mentally. The opposite is also true. Sleep gives us healthy minds and healthy bodies.
7. Gratitude increases mental strength.
Business doesn’t always go well, there are setbacks and challenges that can test even the most successful people. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2003 found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all that you have to be thankful for – even during the worst times—fosters resilience. God knows that whatever happens in life, Gratitude will preserve us.
If these benefits of gratitude don’t convince you, people who practice gratitude are scientifically likely to be: more optimistic, less materialistic, more spiritual, less self-centered, have more self-esteem, sleep better, have more energy, exercise more, have more resilience, have happier memories, less envious, more relaxed, more friendly, better marriages, more friends, deeper relationships, respected more, have larger networks, better managers, better decision makers, more productive and goal achievers – to name a few. Is now the moment to start practicing gratitude in your life?
“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”
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