Many of us have heard the phrase, “Have and Attitude of Gratitude”. Very few of us talk about what that means or how to achieve it. Today I want to talk about just that. What does an attitude of gratitude do for us, and how can we benefit from it in our every day lives.
Gratitude is the act of being thankful and expressing your appreciation. In a world where we more often complain and ask for more (instead of being thankful for what we have), it is essentially a change in mindset. Gratitude encourages you to focus on, and reflect on, the positive things happening presently in your life.
While gratitude may just seem like a lofty philosophical endeavor. it is actually far more important than that. It has a number of healthy benefits.
Improves Physical Health
Gratitude has numerous benefits to your physical health. Those who are grateful tend to exhibit less physical symptoms and pain. Grateful people are additionally more likely to prolong life expectancy and health awareness. Those with gratitude were also more likely to exercise.
Encourages Mental Health
Those who are live in gratitude tend to be more optimistic and fewer toxic thoughts. This is of great benefit to mental health. Our thoughts affect our reality. They shape our beliefs and in turn, your actions and behaviors. That affects your mood and motivation for success. Through gratitude you learn to appreciate what you have. It also increases the sense of being loved and card for by your family and friends. It has even been shown to reduce depression.
Have trouble sleeping? Well an attitude of gratitude can also improve your sleep. Research shows that gratitude is linked to improved sleep duration and quality. In addition, grateful people tend to fall asleep more quickly. There also appears to be a difference in quality of sleep.
Decreases Negative Thought Patterns
Gratitude helps you rid yourself of toxic emotions that cause stress and depressive symptoms. Those with gratitude can stop and see or think about the benefits of a situation. Look at the bigger picture and show empathy, even when others fail to.
Gratitude strengthens your moral compass by making you more aware of and in touch with, your emotions. This also increases compassion, happiness and concern towards others. Behaviors become motivated out of a concern for others rather than selfish endeavors. It can even increase your ability to distinguish right from wrong so that you may behavior more ethically.
Western society is full of materialistic norms and societal expectations. Our success often unhealthily correlates with our wealth and possessions. However, materialism has been shown to diminish personal happiness and well-being. It can be a cesspool fostering insecurities, unhealthy comparisons and judgments.
Those with gratitude look for the positive in any given situation. Additionally, they are more present which allows them to appreciate and be content with what they have. Instead of focusing on what they would like to be or obtain.
Find Your Attitude of Gratitude
As you can see gratitude has a number of positive benefits. Maybe this Thanksgiving, and moving forward, we can all work to foster this mindset. It isn’t too hard to begin incorporating gratitude into your daily life. Even thinking of one new thing to be grateful for can improve your day, and by extension, your life.