The Four Benefits of Gratitude

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If you are emotionally fatigued or physically not feeling your best - or perhaps just haven’t slept well in a while - what you might need is a healthy dose of gratitude. Gratitude comes with many benefits, from your physical health and how you sleep at night to your interactions with the people in your life. Check out the 4 primary benefits of adopting an attitude of gratitude.
Better Physical Well-Being
Studies show that gratitude can actually improve health. It can lessen the severity of physical aches and pains and can result in fewer stomach troubles and clearer skin. Some also reported fewer headaches and an easier time breathing.
A Good Night’s Sleep
You need sleep for good health and good brain function. If you find yourself tossing and turning right when you need to be sleeping, a little practice in gratitude might be better than any other sleep aid. Spend some time counting the things you are grateful for right before bedtime. People report that this practice lowers their anxiety levels and allows them to relax enough to fall asleep quickly.
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Improved Relationships
Relationships work better when the other people in your life know they are appreciated in the same way you work better when you know you are appreciated. Saying thank you to the people who surround you every day opens your relationships up to new levels of love and trust. People who focus on gratitude have a tendency to want to give back to their communities. These people are more likely to volunteer and expand their social groups through those volunteer opportunities.
Greater Emotional Well-Being
Gratitude lowers the stress hormone in your body called cortisol. Lowered cortisol means a reduction in the physical and mental effects of stress. It can also reduce the toxic effects of regret, depression, jealousy, resentment, and others. It helps keep your focus centered on the positives of life to help pull away from the rabbit hole of negative emotions.
How to Put Gratitude into Action
Keep a gratitude journal. Whether it’s digital or physical, find a place where you can express your thoughts on all the things that you feel grateful for. Sometimes that starts as just a list, but in time you find yourself writing paragraphs and pages regarding the things that have brought you joy or learning. In time, you will likely find yourself being grateful for some of the hard things in your life because of the lessons learned and the growth you experienced as a result.
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Write a note. There are people out there in the world who likely deserve a thank-you from you. People who have done or said something that made a difference in your life or your day. Writing them a quick note is not only good for you, your health, and emotional well-being, it is also good for them.
Say the words. Be sure to thank the people in your life for the small and simple and for the huge and amazing. Saying thank you to your family or friends for the tasks they do around the house or the office will brighten everyone’s mood.
Every person has the capability and opportunity to grow their gratitude. It starts with a thought of one thing in your life that brings you even a moment of peace. Whether that moment being the feeling of the sun on your face or the joy of watching a golden leaf fall float down from a tree, there is always something to be grateful for.
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