10 Surprising Ways Showing Gratitude Will Make Your Life Better

“Thank you” - These two simple words can go a long way. From from helping build stronger relationships to sleeping better at night, feeling thankful has many proven benefits.

Feb 1, 2019

Gratitude isn’t about focusing on how much worse others have it. Rather it means shifting your attention the good things in your life instead of looking for problems to solve. Taking a little time each day to write down or reflect on the things you have can make a big impact in ways you might find surprising.

Gratitude promotes physical health

Gratitude does far more than improve your outlook on life. Results from a University of California Berkeley study called Thanx4 revealed that participants who kept a gratitude journal experienced amazing health benefits like fewer headaches, less stomach pain, clearer skin, and relieved congestion.

A grateful brain = A happy brain

Want to feel happier Try counting your blessings. Research by Robert Emmons and his team confirms that, indeed, focusing on the good helps promote positive emotions about ourselves and our lives.

Feeling grateful helps you get a good night’s sleep

Want to get better sleep at night? Try writing down the things you feel grateful for before bed. Chinese researchers found that grateful people sleep better and feel less anxious.

Gratitude increases energy levels

Gratitude increases the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps people feel more energetic and motivated, which leads to all kinds of positive outcomes like working out more each week or getting more done at the office.

Saying “thank you” helps motivate others

If you want to motivate a team, try saying “thank you” more often. Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania found that managers who show gratitude toward people who work for them inspire employees to work harder.

Feeling grateful increases self-esteem

Need a confidence boost? Research shows that practicing gratitude results in higher levels of self-esteem. Feeling good about yourself then leads to a whole host of benefits to improve overall well-being.

Gratitude: The antidote to stress?

Showing appreciation for what you have counterbalances stressors in your life. That’s because gratitude affects the brain’s limbic system, replacing negative thoughts with images of the things you feel thankful for having.

Feeling grateful fosters creativity

Suffering from a bit of writer’s block? Take a few moments to focus on gratitude to get your creative juices flowing. Science supports that gratitude helps people relax and think outside of the box, giving way to creative ideas.

Showing appreciation helps start new friendships

Sure, saying “thank you” is polite, but it also helps make new friends. A UNSW Sydney study observed that those who said, “thank you” when first meeting someone had a better chance of continuing an ongoing relationship. That makes sense considering how gratitude makes the other person feel valued.

Gratitude strengthens relationships

Showing appreciation for the family, friends, and partners, not only makes them feel good, but it also makes the relationship better. So if you want to feel closer to someone, trying saying thank you or giving a gift.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
Why Showing Gratitude Is Good for You and Those Around You
5 Reasons Keeping a Gratitude Journal Will Change Your Life
4 Strategies to Turn Gratitude into a Lasting Habit

ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.

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