7 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

It is often said that attitude is everything when it comes to facing a tough situation in life. The way we face the bumps will be determinant for the result we get and will change the way we feel while we are living it. It is said that one of the characteristics of people with emotional intelligence is that they accept what comes to them and seek to take the learning or the positive part of each circumstance. These people tend to be grateful for everything they experience and it has been proven that gratitude has health benefits.

Although it is not always easy to live with this positive attitude of accepting and learning every day from what happens to us, it is a good formula for not falling into listlessness and sadness.

There are numerous studies that have analyzed the correlation between being grateful and happiness, health and even pain. The results are, to say the least, exciting.

Here are 7 benefits that science has shown to occur in the life and well-being of a person when he or she decides to live with an open mind and being grateful for everything he or she has and everything that happens to him or her.

1.- Increased Happiness

The results of this scientific study have shown that gratitude is closely related to increased well-being and decreased depression. Another study found that grateful people facing financial difficulties had significantly fewer depressive symptoms than ungrateful people.

2.- Increased Physical Health

The results of this study that examined whether gratitude affects health revealed that participants who practiced gratitude were healthier. The authors found that gratitude improved participants’ mental health, participation in healthy activities, and willingness to obtain medical care for health problems.

Other authors of a groundbreaking study investigated the impact gratitude had on the physical and mental health of breast cancer patients. Their data showed that gratitude was “strongly” related to less cancer recurrence, less distress, and more positive emotions. In addition, the authors of this article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology report that gratitude can strengthen the immune system.

3.- Better Sleep

This scientific study focused on the impact of gratitude on the mental and physical health of 186 patients with heart problems. The researchers determined that gratitude had a direct correlation between well-being and sleep quality.

Other research that participants who posted in a public forum about gratitude for two weeks had “significantly higher sleep quality.” Another study found that gratitude “predicts better sleep quality and duration.”

4.- Greater Life Satisfaction

This report published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being examined the results of individuals who participated in a gratitude-focused retreat. These revealed that after participating in it for 4 weeks, participants reported increased life satisfaction. The authors of the study concluded that “being grateful can be used to improve long-term well-being”.

5.- Less Aggression and More Patience

This research brings together the results of several studies examining the impact of gratitude on aggressiveness and patience. The authors reveal that “feeling grateful seemed to protect against feeling hurt and prevented aggressive reactions”. The results show that people who practice gratitude have higher levels of empathy for others, suggesting that they also have more patience.

6.- Greater Self-Care

This chapter of the “Handbook of Positive Psychology” examines many results of scientific studies by leading experts in gratitude research. In one of them, it has been found that “participants in the gratitude condition spent significantly more time exercising”. Another scientific study revealed that individuals who wrote gratitude letters ate 25% less fat in their diet.

7.- Pain Reduction

The authors of this study on gratitude and health that appeared in The Journal of Psychology talk about the main findings within this field, including those of a pain induction study in which the perception of pain was less intense in participants who felt more gratitude.

So with all this information decide how are you going to deal with adverse circumstances from now on? Do you decide to take charge of your life and be the protagonist? Let us know in the comments below!

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