Gratitude is the act of being thankful and expressing appreciation. It is essentially a change in mindset, encouraging you to focus on and reflect the positives in the present.
This article introduces the practice of gratitude and why it’s important.
Improves physical health
Gratitude works wonders for your physical health. Those who are grateful tend to have less physical symptoms and pain. Grateful people are also more likely to be conscious of their health. This is likely to prolong life expectancy. Interestingly, those that expressed gratitude spent more time exercising.
Exercise has been proven to be incredibly important to health and well-being. However, there are many barriers to exercise. The most common being lack of time. If you’re struggling with finding time to exercise, think outside the box. Incorporate fitness into the workplace. Try take short walking breaks or do some basic stretches. Get your co-workers involved to help with motivation.
Encourages mental health
Gratitude fosters optimism and suppresses toxic thoughts. Focussing on the good lifts mood. It helps you accomplish tasks and succeed in life. You’ll learn to appreciate what you have, and feel loved and cared for by your friends and family.
Incorporating gratitude has also been shown to reduce depression symptoms. This reduction in symptoms remained as long as this practice of gratitude was continued.
Insomniacs, listen up. Gratitude can also improve your sleep. Not only is sleep duration and quality increased, but it will also take less time for you to fall asleep.
There’s a difference between getting eight to ten hours of sleep and eight hours of quality sleep. The keyword being quality. Being grateful will take you less time to fall asleep. This will increase overall sleep duration. In addition to this, it will also improve the quality of your sleep. It’s not just about the quantity of sleep, but of the quality of sleep.
Reduces negative emotions
Sometimes it’s easy to think the grass is greener on the other side. Utilise gratitude to rid yourself of unnecessary toxic emotions. This can cause stress and depressive symptoms.
Grateful people can stop to think about the benefits of a situation. They can look at the bigger picture and show empathy towards others, even when others do not demonstrate kindness.
Practicing gratitude helps guide your moral compass. Those who experience gratitude will be more in touch with or aware of their emotions. Because of this, they’ll also show compassion, happiness and concern towards others.
Being grateful will help you to make decisions with morality in mind. Your behaviour will be motivated out of the concern for others, rather than any selfish morals. Gratitude will help you distinguish right from wrong to behave morally in a situation.
Materialism is a culture we have been born and bred into. Our success in society correlates with our wealth and possessions. Materialism has been shown to diminish well-being. It fosters insecurities, unhealthy comparisons and judgements.
People who experience gratitude look for the positives in each situation. They are also able to focus more on the present. This allows them to appreciate and be content with what they currently have.
With so many benefits to incorporating gratitude into your daily life, it’s no wonder why many others are adopting this mindset. Make gratitude a regular practice in your life. Begin by reinforcing an attitude of gratitude or keep a diary to record all the things that make you feel grateful.
Freelancer Johanna Cider has a passion for writing and enjoys working from the comforts of her home in Wellington, New Zealand. She especially enjoys working with local sites such as Tairawhiti Gisborne which work to promote her beautiful country.