Benefits of Gratitude: How Practicing Mindful Thankfulness Can Change Your Life 103

benefits of gratitude

This is a guest post by Spirit Room, a Winnipeg spiritual direction service, similar to a Winnipeg psychic or medium.

How often do you feel thankful for the little things around you, the big gestures and the presence of loved ones in your life? If your answer is “frequently,” chances are that you’re a much happier and satisfied person than someone that doesn’t feel thankful.

Gratitude is simple – all that you have to do is say a couple of words to express your emotions. The psychological and physical health benefits of gratitude, however, are tremendous and worth pointing out.

Still not certain whether you should be expressing gratitude on a regular basis? Here are some of the biggest benefits you’ll get to enjoy if you decide to do so.

The Health Benefits of Gratitude.

Cultivating gratitude as a virtue will impact both your physical and psychological health. Numerous studies have been carried out and the vast majority concludes decisively that something as simple as a positive emotion can have a profound impact on wellbeing.

According to University of California Davis researcher Robert Emmons, people that perceive gratitude as an inherent trait tend to be much healthier than the ones that experience it as solely a temporary state of mind. The main reason for this difference according to Emmons is that grateful people tend to take better care of themselves and be more health-conscious.

In addition, grateful people tend to be bigger optimists than the ones that aren’t grateful frequently. A link has already been established between a positive outlook on life and improved immune response.

Gratitude is also a tool for effective stress management. Chronic stress is one of the triggers behind a vast range of health problems, including heart disease and certain types of cancer. Feelings of thankfulness act as an emotional release, enabling individuals to cope better with stress and reduce its negative impact on their bodies.

Psychological and Emotional Benefits of Gratitude.

We’ve already taken a peek at some of the ways in which gratitude could impact psychological health. The fact that it can be used to control stress is one of the most important mechanisms in which gratitude could reduce anxiety and depression.

The psychological and emotional benefits of feeling thankful go well-beyond stress management, however:

Increased mental strength.

Gratitude could speed up recovery after a traumatic event, several studies suggest. It speeded up the recovery of Vietnam war veterans and enabled them to cope better with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Higher self-esteem.

An interesting study was published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology in 2014. According to the research, athletes that were grateful managed to deliver optimal performance each time and have higher confidence than their peers.

Reduced aggression.

Grateful people tend to be much more empathetic towards others, even when other people aren’t reciprocating the sentiment. In addition, grateful people are much less likely to retaliate against others and they find it easier to control aggression.

Overall improvement in psychological health.

People that are inherently grateful find it a lot easier to deal with negative emotions like envy and greed. These people are less likely to feel frustrated or resentful. As a result, grateful individuals are in a better state of mind and enjoy a stable emotional state.

Improved relationships with others.

Grateful people have healthier attachments to others than people that don’t practice mindful gratitude. Studies suggest these individuals tend to feel less lonely and more a part of a community. Others see them as more altruistic, open and positive, which is also a major factor for the great relationships such people are likely to have.

What does It Take to Practice Mindful Gratitude?

You can do several very simple things to make gratitude a part of your everyday routine. Building these habits will help you internalize the emotion and turn thankfulness into a state of mind.

Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the simplest things you can begin doing. All that you need is a notebook. Make a daily entry in the journal (for example, before going to bed) and list a couple of things that you’re grateful about.

Another simple thing you can do is try to give at least one compliment on a daily basis. Pay attention to the people around you, their accomplishments and contributions to your happiness. By complimenting people, you’ll become more mindful of your surroundings and everything positive in your life.

Gratitude is easy in positive circumstances but how about the tough times? The manner in which you handle those can also help you cultivate gratitude. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself or allowing the sense of loss to take over, think about the lesson you could learn from the situation. Negative experiences can be incredibly beneficial later on in life, as long as you’re willing to do some analysis and learn from your mistakes.

Finally, you may want to partner with someone – having a friend or a significant other to participate in the process alongside you will definitely make things a whole lot easier. Share your gratitude journals and talk to each other, especially when one is feeling down. Having someone to lift you up and give you a push can make all of the difference in the world, especially at times when you find it very difficult to experience gratitude.

What about you? What 3 things are you grateful for today?

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7 Quick Tips on How to Be More Successful in Everyday Life 6

If Life Were a Game, What Would Your Score Be? [FREE 10 Minute Assessment]

Everyone dreams about being successful. But what is success?

For you, it could be building a company, getting promoted at work, generating wealth, or more humble ambitions, such as being the best parent or partner. While success looks different to each person, we all have an innate desire to achieve.

No matter how you define success as an individual, here are some habits you can adopt to become more successful in everyday life.

1. Be Focused.

There are distractions all around us, from social media and smartphones to friends and family. While everyone needs some ‘me time,’ to be successful, you also need focus. As such, cut out distractions and set aside time to work towards your goal.

Remember: There is always something productive you can do.

2. Aim to Learn.

It can be easy to get hung up results but being successful is about more than the outcome. The key to being truly successful is about learning. This allows you to grow and adapt, changing your approach and leading to improvements. As such, make learning a goal. This will also help to keep you motivated, too.

3. Be Prepared.

Being prepared is essential to increase the chance of success. This can be applied to almost any situation. Whether you are expecting your first baby, have an upcoming exam or interview, or are considering CFD trading, all require research and preparation.

4. Stop the Excuses.

When something goes wrong, it can be easy to dig your head in the sand, but this is not a habit of a successful person. Instead, take responsibility. Stop your excuses, work on your weaknesses and make improvements. The onus is on you to be successful so step up, set challenges and drive yourself forward.

5. Be Happy.

You may be focussed on earning more money, or you may have a goal to buy a flash car. But if you’re working a job you cannot stand, putting in too many hours and sacrificing time with the ones you love, you could quickly start to feel miserable.

Increase your happiness and make it a marker of your success, even if it takes longer to achieve your goals.

6. Feel Grateful.

Success is often less about material possessions or goals than it is about changing our perceptions.

This is why it is important to start recognizing the good things around you. Recognise and feel grateful for what you already have and you will soon feel very successful indeed.

7. Start Failing.

This may seem counterintuitive, but failure is a big part of success. It helps to highlight the things we do not want and essentially provides clarity. A little failure never hurt anyone. After all, no one has ever become successful without first experiencing failure.