Benefits of Gratitude November marks the beginning of the holiday season and a season of gratitude. As we start thinking about our Thanksgiving menus and shopping lists, we also begin to think about everything we have to be thankful for – friends, family, health, and happiness.
But why limit this gratitude to only one time a year? Science has found that being thankful throughout the year could have tremendous benefits on your health and well being. Five benefits of gratitude include:
Improved Psychological Health
Gratitude reduces toxic emotions, from envy, to resentment, frustration and regret. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being and has found that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
Improved Physical Health
Grateful people are more likely to take care of themselves, attend regular checkups, and exercise more often. This extra self care contributes to further longevity, fewer aches and pains, and greater overall health.
Enhanced Empathy and Reduced Aggression
People who practice gratitude have been shown to experience more sensitivity and empathy towards others. Furthermore, these individuals are less lively to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback.
Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
Higher 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.
So this season, while preparing for all the holiday festivities, try to incorporate gratitude into your daily routine to practice throughout the year. We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude, and doing so will benefit all areas of your life.