It’s typically around Thanksgiving when people become mindful about all that they’re grateful and thankful for. However, studies show practicing gratitude throughout the year can improve one’s overall health and well-being. In fact, our counseling team has seen that clients who are able to find gratitude through our work in therapy together are able to lead happier and more fulfilling lives in the long run.
Here are 8 ways that being grateful can change your life for the better:
1. Gratitude will improve your relationship with others. When you’re grateful for others, it shows. When you say thank you or show others how much you enjoy having them in your life, your friendships and familial relationships will blossom and grow.
2. Gratitude will increase your sleep quality. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, the mere act of thinking about the things you’re grateful for improves sleep quality…not to mention you feel more rested and refreshed! It’s a win-win!
3. Gratitude will improve your mental health. In a 2010 study cited in the Clinical Psychology Review, gratitude was proven to result in lower rates of depression. You’ll also feel less jealousy and resentment towards others.
4. Gratitude will improve your physical well-being. A 2015 study published in Clinical Practice found that grateful people have healthier hearts, which is linked to lower blood pressure, less chronic pain, and fewer aches.
5. Gratitude will increase your energy, while stress levels decrease. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that students who kept gratitude journals had higher levels of alertness, energy, enthusiasm, and attentiveness than colleagues who didn’t keep a journal. A 2006 study published in Research on Aging found those who were grateful felt less stress, even in high stress situations, such as poverty.
6. Gratitude will make you a stronger leader. Leaders who are grateful motivate their teams and employees, and are able to inspire them to be more productive. A study from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania found that employees whose managers showed them appreciation were 50% more productive.
7. Gratitude will help you recover faster from anything—mental or physical. Using gratitude can help you build a better mental strength and physical immune system. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy showed that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude suffered less from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
8. Gratitude will help you be a better version of yourself. In a 2015 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, gratitude was linked to higher self-esteem. It can also help reduce social anxieties and the tendency to compare yourself with other people.
With so many benefits to being grateful, it’s clear that developing a gratitude practice can add dramatically to your quality of life. From mental to physical, to social and beyond, an attitude of gratitude can have you realizing that, despite setbacks, you still have many amazing things going on in your life.
Are you struggling to feel grateful? You’re not alone.
Creative Counseling Center is here for you. Our counselors help folks with a variety of mental health struggles, from finding gratitude to mourning the loss of a loved one, relationship woes to overcoming past abuse, neglect or simply managing anxiety or depression…and everything in between. Request a free phone consultation today and get started on your journey to happiness and fulfillment.