Not only does being grateful feel good, but there is mounting evidence that practicing consistent gratitude has additional mental, physical, and social benefits outside of our moment-to-moment experiences.
Here are the top advantages that come along with being grateful.
Improved physical health
People who have the consistent habit of expressing gratitude are more likely to be found exercising, experiencing lower stress, making smart dietary choices, and sleeping well. All good things, right? Research suggests an explanation: those who are outwardly grateful for life feel an obligation to take care of the machine that makes life possible. In other words, when we feel grateful, we are motivated to try and live longer.
Better psychological health
Expressing gratitude leads to drastic changes in neurochemistry. You can literally rewire your brain away from negative emotions like envy, regret, and frustration. According to the behavioral researcher, Robert Emmons, Ph.D. by making a habit of expressing gratitude your mind actively searches for new things to be grateful for, in turn, you create new neural pathways for emotional stability and higher levels of happiness. How cool is that?
Appreciating others is critical for creating healthy relationships. It’s a win-win: you feel better and you become more likeable in the process. Think about what it feels like when someone sends a sincere “thank you” for a project you worked on tirelessly or when your significant other acknowledges you cleaning the entire kitchen from floor to ceiling. It feels really good. Being grateful helps you build trust, show love, and foster deeper connections.
Higher social capital
Not only does gratitude serve as the foundation for better relationships but it also helps build relationships characterized by trust and reciprocity. It’s simple: people like and are attracted to other people who are grateful and happy.