Image Source: www.unsplash.com What was the last thing that made you feel grateful? Was it the promotion you got in your job? A new car? Or maybe seeing your family in good health. Being thankful involves reflecting on positive things or events in your life. It’s also about how these things made you happy. Did you know that being grateful even for the simplest things provides benefits? Let’s discuss!
What is Gratitude Practice?
Gratitude is defined as the state of being happy and thankful for things you have or happened. This involves expressing the feeling through a simple ‘thank you’ or it can also be in a form of a gift. It’s all about acknowledging and recognizing the positive things you have or experiencing and how they affect your life. It can be about a hearty dinner to the feeling of being put into the spotlight for the achievements you experience in your job.
This can be practiced in various ways such as writing a journal, expressing gratitude to someone for what they did for you, paying attention to even the little things in your surroundings, making someone happy for being in your life, and meditation.
What are the Benefits?
Practicing gratitude provides benefits both for physical and mental wellness. Doing this regularly has shown positive effects.
Improves the Immune System
According to a 2004 study, being stressed affects how our body responds to threats to our health. On the other hand, a positive mindset can help our body battle various illnesses. Practicing gratitude is one of the factors that contribute to a sense of well-being. It can also improve other factors of our physical health, a 2017 research suggests that practicing gratitude can also lower the risks of heart failure.
Helps Us Sleep Better
Wrapping up the day with flying colors is a good way to experience good and long sleep. Writing a journal about things you're thankful for can have positive effects on our sleep according to a 2011 study. With that said, it could be helpful to note write about things you're thankful for and also things that worry you. This is a good practice that leads to peace of mind as you go to sleep.
Reflecting on things we are grateful for helps us feel better. Practicing gratitude helps athletes boost their self-esteem according to a 2014 study. It has also been observed that people who are thankful tend to show more appreciation for others' achievements instead of comparing and competing.
Being grateful helps us improve the way we regulate our emotions. A 2017 research shows that as we practice gratitude, our heart rate decreases. This can also be linked to us feeling calm. When you're feeling stressed, take a deep breath and reflect on things that make you feel grateful as it will help you calm down and process things in a better way.
Combats Burnout Practicing gratitude improves psychological health as it helps us manage the negative emotions we experience while at work. These emotions can be frustration, regret, or even envy. Gratitude improves how we handle different situations at work, prevents depression, and boosts positive emotions.
Practicing gratitude offers benefits for both physical and mental health and studies have proven that. Journaling, meditation, or even appreciating the things in our surroundings can be good ways to get started. Regular practice will most likely lead to positive long-term effects.
1 Fulton, B. (2020, October 27) The Benefits of Gratitude and How to Get Started Healthline
2 Katherine (2020, August 4) 10 benefits of a gratitude practice Life Coach Directory