It’s that time of year again. The time when we count our blessings and feel gratitude. It seems to really take off with social media posts, acts of kindness and verbalizing “Thanks” to loved ones more than usual. The holidays are a great reminder for us all to have gratitude. So why just once a year?
Practicing gratitude regularly has some great health benefits. According to University of California Professor Robert Emmons, “Throughout history philosophers and religious leaders have extolled gratitude as a virtue Integral to health and well-being. Now through a recent movement called positive psychology, mental health professionals are taking a closer look at how virtues such as gratitude can benefit our health.”
Gratitude is acknowledging the goodness in our lives and in this process we realize the world is much bigger than ourselves, whether to other people, nature, or a higher power. When we practice giving thanks on a regular basis, we open ourselves up to a greater happiness. Through gratitude we can greatly improve our health.
According to a 2012 study published Personality and individual Differences, grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people. They are more likely to take care of their health and exercise more often. They also are more likely to attend regular check ups, which is likely to contribute to longevity.
Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher has conducted multiple studies and his research confirms that gratitude effectively increase happiness and reduces depression.
In a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky, Grateful people were most likely to behave in a prosocial manner even when others behave less kindly. They experienced a more sensitive and empathy towards others and a decreased desire to seek revenge.
Some other health benefits of the act of gratitude include, better sleep, improved self-esteem, and increased mental strength, and reduces stress. Gratitude can also release a variety of toxic emotions, and increase the immune system.
We have the ability to be grateful for what we have but we often forget to practice it. Instead of complaining about the things you deserve or don’t have, be grateful for what you do have. If you bring this simple practice into your daily lives you will see a beautiful transformation in your health and well-being.
Being grateful taps into the spiritual side of us and nurtures us in an amazing way. It’s a much-needed spiritual nutrient that we tend to be deficient in. I thank you for taking the time tor read this and hope you have a grateful day!
LOts of LOve,
healthline.com – A Dose of Gratitude: How Being Thankful Can Keep you Happy
psychologytoday.com- 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude
webmd.com – Boost your Health With a Dose of Gratitude