Importance of Gratitude: Why Being Thankful is Good for You
Is it possible to say that a millionaire is happier than someone without money? Is the driver of a new Mercedes happier than a bus passenger? We often associate happiness with material things, with money, with looking the way the current media is insisting we do. But does this really make us happy? Of course having money makes life easier, but do these things really bring joy and satisfaction to our lives?
The answer is an unequivocal no. Having what you want, be it health, youth, prospects, wealth, does not automatically mean being happy. We also find real joy and satisfaction in those who have little material goods.
So what actually leads to real happiness? Genuine satisfaction? Contentment with life? Over and over again the data, science, and anecdotes show is gratitude has a huge impact on joy and satisfaction. What is gratitude? It is an expression of appreciation for everything in your life. It is a key to looking at life from different perspectives and celebrate the present moment.
Why Be Grateful?
1. Increase in Happiness and Positive moods
Studies have shown that people who keep a gratitude journal are more likely to make progress on their goals because they feel happier, more connected to others, and more optimistic about the future. The practice of expressing appreciation also helps us see what we have in our lives that is working well. If you’re feeling down or struggling with challenges, try taking time each day to write down three things that went well and why they happened. This can help put things into perspective and remind you of the positive aspects of your life.
2. Feel More Satisfied
Being grateful will help you get more satisfaction from life. It’s not hard to understand why. When we feel grateful, it means that we’re satisfied with what we have and don’t need anything else. We’re happy with our lives, the people in it, and the things that happen to us. One of the best feelings in the world is when someone does something nice for us and we tell them how much it means to us. Gratitude doesn’t only make us feel better about ourselves; it also makes other people feel good too.
3. Strengthen Your Physical Health
Grateful people experience less pain and illness and report feeling healthier than other people. They:
- have a stronger immune system.
- are less concerned about pain.
- have lower blood pressure.
- Are less prone heart disease
4. Promote Healthy Sleep
In order to be productive, people need to sleep. But it’s not always easy to get a full night’s rest. There are many reasons why sleep can be disrupted, and often times stress and anxiety are the culprits. A grateful person also tends to sleep better at night due to the release of melatonin that occurs when someone feels content with his or her life. So, practice gratitude each day before bedtime. This will help you feel more relaxed and have a better quality of sleep.
5. Grateful People Have Stronger Relationships
Gratitude has a significant effect on relationships. Studies show that people who are grateful have stronger relationships and feel more loved by their partners. It can be difficult to feel grateful when life throws curveballs your way, but it’s important not to lose sight of all the things that are going well in our lives.
6. Grateful People are More Resilient
It turns out that grateful people are more resilient. This means that when things go wrong, they can quickly recover from their setbacks. Studies show that grateful people are less likely to think about suicide and report higher levels of happiness. They also have stronger social ties. How does this happen? Being grateful helps us appreciate what we do have and find meaning in life’s challenges. When we feel like our lives don’t matter, we may succumb to the temptation to give up on living altogether. But when we’re focused on what’s good in our lives, it becomes easier to face the difficult times ahead and find a way forward.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Develop the habit of giving thanks whenever you are filled with joy, harmony and satisfaction. It’s has been found that grateful people are more likely to help others in need. In addition, one study showed participants who were instructed to write down five things they were grateful for each day showed significant increases in positive emotions over time and reported better sleep quality and moods. Other research suggests that cultivating an attitude of gratitude can lead to improved immune system functioning and less reactivity to stress.
How can you be grateful today?