Updated: Jul 21, 2019
1. Gratitude makes us happier - Yep, and while happiness isn’t completely quantifiable it can be measured to some extent! And it’s shown that a regular gratitude practice (in fact in the study in question it was only a once weekly practice) can increase happiness by up to 20%! That’s about as good as doubling your wages - except the happiness in that case, where it’s a material or circumstantial gain doesn’t last because we adapt to it via something called hedonic adaptation. The classic example is where lottery winners will experience a boost in happiness short term they quickly return back to their normal level because having all their lottery winnings becomes the new normal - they adapt to it.
2. It seems that practicing gratitude on a regular basis creates a positive feedback loop. You feel more grateful - Then you go about your day in a more grateful mood - Which means you’re more receptive to things that you can be grateful for.
3. Gratitude improves physical health - People who experience more gratitude also report experiencing less aches and pains, less illnesses and are more likely to engage in healthy behaviours. I imagine this ties into how higher levels of gratitude translate to higher self esteem as well. Have higher self esteem and you’ll be more likely to want to take care of yourself. A regular gratitude practice could be a very legitimate step to you getting healthier - and all it takes is writing a few words. Not too shabby!
4. Gratitude improves our mental health - As mentioned above more gratitude means more happiness but also people who report feeling grateful or appreciative also report feeling more loving, forgiving and less depressed or resentful or jealous. It increases empathy and reduces feelings of aggression and makes you less reactive in situations.
5. Gratitude increases resilience - It’s shown that a regular gratitude practice thus cultivating an ‘attitude of gratitude’ means that during genuinely hard times you are more primed to still be able to count your blessings which translates to better ability to cope and get through a difficult period.
6. Gratitude can help you sleep better! - Naturally we’re going to get excited about this one considering how much we push the benefits of getting more and better quality sleep. A gratitude practice before bed seems to be able to improve sleep quality. And we know that with improved sleep quality we see improved mood, mental health, recovery and physical health.
Check out our post on how you can start practicing gratitude today!