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4 Science-Backed, Long-Lasting Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

You’ve probably heard the saying that you should have an “attitude of gratitude.” Well, what if that saying was more than just something to make you feel good or to motivate you?

As it turns out, it is!

Gratitude is often an overlooked resource that we can put into practice every single day. It doesn’t take up a lot of time, and it isn’t hard for anyone to do. Plus, it comes with many long-lasting benefits.

If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. It’s just that many people don’t practice gratitude enough to reap the rewards it can provide. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at four benefits, backed by science, that come with being grateful every day.

You’ll Feel Better Physically

There are a few reasons why being more grateful can benefit your physical health. First, it can help to lower stress. In turn, that can lower your blood pressure and lower your risk for anxiety and depression. 

People who are more grateful also tend to naturally take better care of themselves. They exercise more, visit their doctors regularly, and eat healthy, balanced diets. When you’re grateful for the things you have and your health, you’re more inclined to stay as healthy as possible.

You’ll Be Happier

There isn’t one single key to happiness—but gratitude can play a big part in it. 

Studies have shown that gratitude can help to reduce depression. It also allows you to release aggression, frustration, and resentment. When you’re grateful for the things you have, you’re less likely to hold onto anger over things you don’t have or things you can’t control.

You’ll Get Better Sleep

Want to get a more restful sleep each night? A 2011 study published in Applied Psychology found that a gratitude journal can actually help you sleep better at night. 

Spend 10-15 minutes before bed jotting down a few things you’re grateful for. They can be things that happened to you that day or more sweeping areas of gratitude that impact your life. 

Doing this helps to get you in a more positive and relaxed mindset before bed. Plus, you can refer back to your journal, once you’ve been keeping it for a while, and remind yourself of everything you have to be thankful for.

You’ll Have More Self-Esteem

Gratitude can help to improve your self-esteem for several reasons, but one of the biggest is that it removes comparisons. Do you ever find yourself scrolling through Facebook and feeling jealous of how pretty someone looks? Or maybe you’re envious of your friend’s perfect family, perfect job, or perfect life? 

It’s easy to be jealous of the things we think others have and we don’t. Practicing gratitude helps to get rid of those envious thoughts. Instead of being resentful toward those people, you can look to the things you do have and be thankful for them. As a result, you can be happy for others and their accomplishments. 

 

As it turns out, having an attitude of gratitude just may be the best thing to improve the way you feel and your outlook on life. 

Keep in mind that there’s a reason it’s called “practicing gratitude,” though. It takes work, and it isn’t always easy. But, if you’re committed to it, it will eventually become a habit and can even become your default way of thinking. 

If you struggle with practicing gratitude, feel free to contact us to learn more about how we can help you with different ways to feel more grateful every day. Together, we can work on strategies that will allow you to appreciate the things you have and the situations you face.

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