Gratitude is an incredibly powerful emotion. Not only is the feeling of gratitude an extension of happiness, it has been proven to be good for our health in so many ways. Previously, happiness ambassador and author of Solve for Happy, Mo Gawdat, shared his Happiness Formula with Rituals. That simple graphic illustrated that we feel happy when life meets our expectations. Gratitude is the next level, when life exceeds your expectations and, in turn, you feel grateful. According to Mo, this feeling engages the parasympathetic nervous system and allows us to truly relax into life. And, when we feel grateful we are able to better fend off the negative thoughts that can often cloud our mindset. It’s a win, win.
One of the best ways to cultivate this mindset is by keeping a gratitude journal and noting down your blessings at the end of each day. Are you grateful for the rain that meant you didn’t have to water the plants? Are you grateful that your child is happy in their new class at school? Whatever it is that you are grateful for, note it down. Before you journal, why not try this gratitude meditation to get you in the right headspace.
But why is being grateful really so important for a happy life? Keep reading for 5 benefits of being grateful.
Gratitude for Sleep
Gratitude doesn’t just help those with chronic pain to sleep better. One study found that people who scored higher on a gratitude test were able to fall asleep faster, slept longer, had a better quality of sleep, and found it easier to stay awake throughout the day.
Gratitude Keeps the Doctor Away
Gratitude also benefits the health of both your mind and body. Grateful people made less frequent visits to the doctors, they had lower blood pressure and were less likely to develop a mental health disorder. Want to flex your gratitude muscle? Spending just 5 minutes each day writing in a gratitude journal can increase long-term well-being by more than 10%.
Gratitude Helps with Resilience
Counting your blessings, rather than just thinking positive helps people to get through times of hardship. Life isn’t plain sailing, we know that, and whether you lose a loved one, your job, or you’re in an accident, those who can still find things to be grateful for are more likely to fare life’s storms better. Being grateful has also been found to boost productivity, which may also help you get through the demanding periods of life with more ease.
Grateful People Are More Active
When we feel good, we tend to want to do more things that make us feel good. That’s why one study found that people who count their blessings by keeping a gratitude journal exercised 40 minutes more per week than the control group.
Gratitude Improves Relationships
Various studies have shown that gratitude for others improves relationships both in terms of trust and loyalty. It’s also a relationship-sustaining emotion, so feelings of gratitude towards a loved one, friends, even colleagues can help you to build bonds that last.
Want to feel more positive every day? Join the Rituals Happiness Challenge, with Mo Gawdat, former Chief Business Officer at Google [X] and author of Solve for Happy. It’s a 14-day interactive journey that will transform your life and help you find true, long-lasting happiness.
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