There are a variety of things that can bring you positive feelings; appreciation or gratitude is one of them. Many of us express gratitude by saying “thank you” to someone who has either helped us or gave us a gift, but gratitude is more than just simply saying thank you, it is a whole form of practice.
“Robert Emmons, perhaps the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, argues that gratitude has two key components, which he describes in a Greater Good essay, “Why Gratitude Is Good.” “First,” he writes, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. In the second part of gratitude, he explains, “we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves. … We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.” 16, 17
The benefits of gratitude
Other than just making you happy, gratitude or appreciation is also useful because it has extra benefits, other than just making you feel happy. So when considering if you should practice gratitude or not, these are the benefits that might sway you to do so.
- You are more likely to enjoy your life
- You have higher levels of positivity, more alertness, joy, and pleasure
- You cope easier with tough times
- You feel a sense of abundance in your life
- You recognize and enjoy life’s small pleasures
- You block negative emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret
- You are more stress resistant
- You have a higher sense of self-worth
- You are more patient
- Stronger immune system
- Lower blood pressure
- Better sleep
- Increased longevity
- More energy and vitality
- Better quality of sleep
- Relieved physical aches and pains
- Stronger relationships
- You are more helpful, generous, compassionate, forgiving, and more connected
- Gratitude of the contributions of others to their well-being
On the other hand, a negative outlook on life can actually be harmful to your health. A growing body of research is showing that negative thinking can increase the risk of heart disease, depression, type 2 diabetes, disability, and immune and inflammatory conditions.5
In conclusion, gratitude encourages us to not only appreciate the good things in our lives but to repay them (or pay them forward). It strengthens bonds between members of a community and makes the members of said community happier. Happiness is one of the most sought after things not only in our current culture of materialism, but already from the beginning of emotions.
It is one of the things that we all want. Whilst there are many ways of achieving happiness most people go after the material things to find their happiness; however, seem to always lack the happiness they are searching for. Practicing gratitude helps us shift our mindset to be more positive, which makes us overall happier.
It’s up to you to figure out whether you want to reach happiness through gratitude. Thank you for joining us today and learning about gratitude. Follow us @mykeytohappiness_official on Instagram and mykeytohappiness on YouTube to stay up to date.
Do you already practice gratitude? Let us know!
Stay healthy and safe friends!
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Gratitude According to Science. Retrieved from positive psychology: https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-gratitude/
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(2019, 07 24). The how and why of practising gratitude. Retrieved from ReachOut
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16 Ackerman, C. E. (2020, April 29). What is Gratitude and Why Is It So Important? [2019 Update]. Retrieved from positivepsychology: https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-appreciation/#definition-gratitude
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