Gratitude. You hear the world all the time but what does it really mean and why does it matter for your mindfulness and wellbeing? Gratitude is simply being thankful and showing appreciation and kindness for the good things in life, regardless of how big or small they may be.
However, it isn’t just about saying “Thank you” to someone. Instead, gratitude is about feeling and being thankful; it’s more of an emotion than it is an action. But why is it important, you ask? Let’s find out!
Research has shown that by expressing your appreciation, you’re able to drastically improve your sense of wellbeing. Essentially, this mean you just feel better about your life. You’re content and satisfied not only emotionally, but also physically and mentally.
Self-esteem is something we all wish came naturally but unfortunately, it takes work and as research shows, a conscious effort to be grateful. Many studies have shown that higher levels of self-esteem were followed with higher levels of gratitude. This research was done specifically on athletes but certainly, it can be just as powerful for everyone else.
The same study went on to show that practicing gratitude has to benefit of making you more open and agreeable (less irritable) and less neurotic! Thus, making you feel balanced and genuinely content with your life. In fact, some studies have gone on to say that gratitude physically changes your brain.
It should come to you as no surprise that being grateful has the ability to strengthen your relationships. After all, appreciating one another, whether in a romantic relationship or a platonic one, is key to overall satisfaction and happiness with one another.
Forgiveness is, inarguably, one of the hardest things to do in life. Fortunately, gratitude can help you become more willing to forgive others, according to research.
When you find ways to be thankful for even the smallest things in life, you have the ability to find the positive in even the worst of situations. The same study that found gratitude to have the ability to improve your wellbeing found that after only 10 weeks of gratitude practices, people were significantly more optimistic in various areas of their lives.
And when you’re more optimistic, you’re able to find happiness! Researchers conducted a study on people who write and deliver letters to those they are grateful for - and you guessed it! Their research showed that people who completed the task experienced an immediate increase in happiness and life satisfaction. More importantly, this powerful benefit lasted for weeks!
Oh, self-control. It’s much easier said than done. However, research showed that practicing gratitude has the ability to help you become more disciplined and focused. More specifically, it went on to say that, with gratitude, you are able to make better choices about your finances, wellbeing and health moving forward.
It goes without saying that your mental health improves when you practice gratitude. After all, you’re happier, more optimistic, forgiving, open and accepting. However, what might surprise you is that your physical health also improves with gratitude.
There’s one study that showed that people with heart failure who wrote in a gratitude journal experienced less inflammation, better sleep and an overall better mood. Additionally, their symptoms of heart failure were drastically reduced after only 8 weeks.
And that’s only to name a few of the top benefits of gratitude. So, if you’re ready to start harnessing the power of gratitude, it’s time to head on over to Awakened Self and start practicing gratitude on a regular basis.
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