6 Ways Gratitude is Good for You

There are so many things to be grateful for.


(Microgen / Shutterstock.com)

For some people gratitude comes naturally. Other people may have to actively think about being grateful for what they have but it doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you do. That’s because gratitude is good for your health, relationships, and happiness.

Research done by the University of California, Berkley and published by the Greater Good Science Center found that people of all ages from different nationalities who have grateful dispositions report better overall health. And, the more than 1,000 participants in the study also reported things that are less measurable than health like being more optimistic, feeling less lonely, and that they are happy.

According to Psychology Today, people who choose to be grateful and actively count their blessings in a gratitude journal are mentally stronger. People who can cut negativity around them by reading good news – like Goodnet – can transform that negative energy into positive and make real changes in their lives. So can you. Check out six ways gratitude is good for you.

Can boost your self-esteem
Practicing gratitude can make you feel better about yourself according to Healthy Place. That’s because being grateful helps you focus on the positive and not the negative and puts you in a better frame of mind.

Being grateful for what you have also reduces social comparisons about money and success according to  Psychology Today. These comparisons can lower self-esteem. But grateful people who feel secure in their own skin are able to appreciate the accomplishments of other people.

Improves Social Relationships
Cultivating gratitude can make you a better person, help you make friends, and improve your social relationships including romantic ones, according to Thrive Global. That’s because expressing thankfulness for the people you are close to and the things they do for you has been linked to happier relationships.

May  improve your health
A 2013 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that grateful people were more likely to say they were in good physical health. The researchers found people who practiced gratitude were more likely to participate in healthy activities and to seek medical help when they needed it. Practicing gratitude can make you psychologically healthier too.

Can make you more empathetic
Since gratitude is a selfless act, and makes you thankful for what you have, it also makes you a more empathetic person. Being able to step into another person’s shoes and understanding their feelings and perspective is the key to being tolerant. Empathetic people are far more likely to resolve conflicts without violence. Empathy is so important that a Canadian based education project, Roots of Empathy, brings babies into the classroom to teach children to care for others.

May help you sleep better
A 2009 study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that being grateful can lead to a better sleep quality. That’s because people who are grateful exhibit lower stress levels and better moods. Expressing gratitude before bed, like writing in a gratitude journal, really makes a big difference in the quality and duration of sleep. If writing isn’t your thing, you can tell yourself positive affirmations or tell the people you love that you are thankful for all they do for you.

Increases resilience
Regularly practicing gratitude can help you recover from trauma and negative events, according to Thrive Global, and help you develop better coping skills and resilience. This is the ability to bounce back from any curve ball thrown your way. By learning how to focus on the good, you can diminish negative events. In these trying times, a little resilience can go a long way.

Why Showing Gratitude Is Good for You and Those Around You
10 Surprising Ways Showing Gratitude Will Make Your Life Better
7 Things to Be Truly and Universally Thankful For