Gratitude means thanks and appreciation, being thankful plus acknowledging and showing your appreciation. When you feel gratitude, you’re pleased by what someone did for you and also pleased by the results. The pleasure with this is that you don’t feel indebted, so you’re not anxious about having to pay it back, it’s just a great feeling to have and a fab one to share with everyone. The benefits of practising gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
One way that gratitude can change your life is by making you happier. Studies have confirmed that having gratitude does, in fact, make you feel happier. When we’re grateful for things the natural by-product to this is that we feel happier about life. This helps you change your focus and you realise the things you have, rather than the things you don’t. Many of you may have heard about the Law of Attraction we touch on this is the blog Positive. Gratitude is a powerful Law of Attraction exercise which will help you attract more positive things into your life, thus enabling you to attract the things you truly desire.
There have been lots of studies into the positive effects of gratitude, it can boost your happiness and overall sense of well-being, according to many psychologists. Here are some of the positive benefits that practicing gratitude can bring into your life. The physical benefits are, a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, better, deep and longer sleep patterns and feeling more refreshed upon waking, less bothered by aches and pains and finally exercising more and taking better care of your health. Psychologically we can experience much higher levels of positive emotions, more joy, pleasure, optimism and happiness, plus we can feel more alert, alive, and awake. Finally, socially more helpful, generous, and compassionate, more forgiving and outgoing giving us the added bonus of making us feel less lonely and isolated.
The effects of gratitude will last longer than you think, Feeling and expressing gratitude can make you happy in the moment. Take a moment to remember the joy you felt the last time a friend helped you out or your partner surprised you with a special night it was a great feeling and the positive glow wasn’t just in the moment you often reflect back to that lovely moment and that feeling still enhances you. There is a growing body of evidence shows that giving thanks can also have a lasting effect on your mood. One study from the University of Pennsylvania found that people who wrote and delivered a heartfelt thank you letter actually felt happier for a full month after, and the same researchers discovered that writing down three positive events each day for a week kept happiness levels high for up to six months. These results are amazing and something we all need to harness in our lives, it not only makes us feel good but also, but we get to share the good vibes and love with the other people involved.
With all the benefits you and the people in your life are going to start to feel if you develop the gratitude attitude and now is the time to train your brain for gratitude. Whether or not these attitudes come to you naturally, paying attention to life’s positives can train you to see more and more of them, which will help you learn to be more grateful. It doesn’t have to be anything massive that allows you to feel this, it can be as simple as looking at a glimmer of sun as it shines through the clouds and expressing within you the gratitude of having been there to experience that moment. Because of this, it may enable you to feel blessed that the good weather allowed you to get out for an afternoon walk or run. Also, just to acknowledge the things that people can do for you, the driver letting you out on the busy road, someone lending a helping hand or offering to help you, or even after a manic morning you still managed to make it to work on time. Maybe you hear your children laughing or watch them playing and take a moment to feel blessed how free our lives are or maybe that your kids offered to do the dishes, the latter may come much less frequently though! Acknowledging these things in your thoughts is the starting point to seeing more of these things around you, will help you cultivate an attitude of gratitude and with it, a boost in happiness that will last year-round.
It’s time to wake up to the positive benefits of gratitude, the research shows such good results and here are a few reasons why living this way might have a transformative effect on your life. There are of course lots of reasons but let’s look at some of the important ones today. Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present which is amazing, if we are celebrating the present then it means we are in the present, if we are in the present then we are less likely to be doing our own heads in with worry. If we’re focusing on the present positive thing then it will then help us magnify these positive emotions. Research on emotion shows that positive emotions wear off, so keep looking for these positives will help this. We adapt to positive life circumstances so that before too long, the new car, the new partner, the new house, don’t feel so new and exciting anymore. But gratitude makes us appreciate the value of even the old and long-standing things, valuing something helps us see more benefits and make us less likely to take it for granted. We then notice more positives, that can magnify the pleasure you get from life, keeping you as more of a participant in life rather than a spectator. Gratitude can block toxic, negative emotions, such as envy, resentment, and many of those negative emotions that can destroy our happiness. We cannot feel envious and grateful at the same time, they’re not incompatible feelings, if you’re grateful, you can’t resent someone for having something that you don’t. Grateful people are more stress resistant as they are not living on red alert, so they can deal with adversity, and life’s up and down as their body has been resting and is ready to deal with the stress. Also, gratitude gives people a positive perspective from which they can deal with negative life events, recovering more quickly too. Over time gratitude training will help you have more confidence and a higher sense of self-worth. Being grateful will help you develop a better sense that someone else is looking out for you, as well as how well you are looking after yourself and others too. Taking the time to be grateful for all the things in our lives will help you recognise not only contributions that other people have made to your life, but also that other people have seen the value in you, thus transforming the way you see yourself.
If you haven’t thought of using this tool before then here are a few things to start thinking about, as these are the characteristics that many people with a great gratitude attitude will more than likely have. They will see their life as half full and not half empty and have a sense of abundance in their lives, they will also notice these in other people, readily recognising and enjoy life’s small pleasures in life. These people will not only be aware of their own connections to gratitude but will also appreciate the contributions of others to their well-being and will often acknowledge the importance of experiencing and expressing gratitude to the people in their lives too. Next week we will be looking at ways that will help you to feel and show gratitude in your lives and start to benefit from all those positive feelings that you will gain because of this.
Thanks for dropping by Sara x