The 15 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About
Do you want more from your life?
More happiness? Better health? Deeper relationships? Increased productivity?
What if I told you that just one thing can help you in all of those areas?
Here are 15 amazing benfits of feeling grateful everyday:
1. Gratitude makes us happier.
A five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being. How can a free five minute activity compare? Gratitude improves our health, relationships, emotions, personality, and career.
2. Gratitude makes people like us.
Gratitude generates social capital. Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends, deepen our existing relationships, and improve our marriage.
3. Gratitude makes us healthier.
There is even reason to believe gratitude can extend your lifespan by a few months or even years.
4. Gratitude boosts our career.
Gratitude makes you a more effective manager, helps you network, increases your decision making capabilities, increases your productivity, and helps you get mentors and proteges. As a result, gratitude helps you achieve your career goals, as well as making your workplace a more friendly and enjoyable place to be.
Do you think this is effective?
5. Gratitude strengthens our emotions.
Gratitude reduces feelings of envy, makes our memories happier, lets us experience good feelings, and helps us bounce back from stress.
6. Gratitude develops our personality.
It really does, and in potentially life-changing ways.
7. Gratitude makes us more optimistic.
Gratitude is strongly correlated with optimism. Optimism in turn makes us happier, improves our health, and has been shown to increase lifespan by as much as a few years. I’d say a 5 minute a day gratitude journal would be worth it just for this benefit.
8. Gratitude reduces materialism.
Materialism is strongly correlated with reduced well-being and increased rates of mental disorder. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more. The problem with materialism is that it makes people feel less competent, reduces feelings of relatedness and gratitude, reduces their ability to appreciate and enjoy the good in life, generates negative emotions, and makes them more self-centered.
9. Gratitude increases self-esteem.
Imagine a world where no one helps you. Despite your asking and pleading, no one helps you.
Now imagine a world where many people help you all of the time for no other reason than that they like you. In which world do you think you would have more self-esteem? Gratitude helps to create a world like that.
10. Gratitude increase your energy levels.
Gratitude and vitality are strongly correlated – the grateful are much more likely to report physical and mental vigor.
11. Gratitude helps us bounce back.
Those that have more gratitude have a more pro-active coping style, are more likely to have and seek out social support in times of need, are less likely to develop PTSD, and are more likely to grow in times of stress
In others words, they are more resilient.
12. Gratitude makes our memories happier.
Our memories are not set in stone, like data stored on a hard-drive. There are dozens of ways our memories get changed over time – we remember things as being worse than they actually were, as being longer or shorter, people as being kinder or crueler, as being more or less interesting, and so on.
Experiencing gratitude in the present makes us more likely to remember positive memories, and actually transforms some of our neutral or even negative memories into positive ones.
13. Gratitude reduces feelings of envy.
A small bit of jealousy or envy directed at the right target is motivating. Too much produces feelings of insecurity, materialism, inferiority, distrust, and unhappiness.
14. Gratitude makes you friendlier.
Multiple studies have shown that gratitude induces pro-social behavior. Keeping a gratitude journal is enough to make you more likely to help others with their problems and makes you more likely to offer them emotional support.
15. Gratitude increases your productivity.
Those who are insecure have difficulty focusing because many of their mental resources are tied up with their worries. On the other hand, those who are highly confident are able to be more productive, because they can direct more of their focus towards their work. This operates at both a conscious and subconscious level – we may be getting mentally distracted by our worries, or more commonly, parts of our subconscious mind are expending energy to suppress negative information and concerns.
As gratitude has been shown to increase self-esteem and reduce insecurity, this means that it can help us focus and improve our productivity.
Photo via stillhouseblog.com