Listen to this—if you are living and breathing as you read this articles, have more than a few reasons to be grateful! We know firsthand that life is short. We’ve seen or heard about people in our social or family circle who are not here today. Be grateful that you are living and breathing in this moment. Gratitude is defined as the state of being grateful. When you are thankful and are able to recognize the positive/negative things in your life and how it affects you, that’s gratitude. There are many health benefits to gratitude. We speak so frequently about the health benefits of diet exercise and stress reduction, but there are genuine health benefits to gratitude, and I’d like to give you a few.
- Gratitude increases mental strength. Gratitude is a major contributor to resilience after one experiences trauma. After the Vietnam war and September 11 attacks, gratitude helped survivors reduce levels of post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Gratitude Improves Physical Health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people. Grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.
- Grateful people sleep better. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
- Gratitude improves self-esteem. Studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs—a major factor in reduced self-esteem—grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
- Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Showing appreciation can help you win new friends. Whether you thank a stranger for holding the door or send a thank-you note to that colleague who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities.