7 Ways of Cultivating Gratitude
Now is the season to think about what makes you most thankful, but research supports making it a year-round habit. Many studies have found there are benefits of gratitude — both mental and physical — and all it takes to enjoy them is a little bit of introspection.
Here are seven surprising benefits of practicing gratitude.
make you more patient
Research has found that people who felt grateful for little, everyday things were more patient and better able to make sensible decisions, compared to those who didn’t feel very gracious on a day-to-day basis. When 105 undergraduate students were asked to choose between receiving a small amount of money immediately or a larger sum at some point in the future, for example, the students who had shown more gratitude in earlier experiments were able to hold out for more cash.
improve your relationship
According to a study, feeling grateful toward your partner — and vice versa — can improve numerous aspects of your relationship, including feelings of connection and overall satisfaction as a couple. Having a partner that’s grateful for you or you being grateful for the other can both help your love life.
In a study, researchers asked people to rate their levels of gratitude, physical health and psychological health, as well as how likely they were to do well-being boosting behaviors like exercise, healthy eating and going to the doctor. They found positive correlations between gratitude and each of these behaviors, suggesting that giving thanks helps people appreciate and care for their bodies.
help you sleep
“Count blessings, not sheep,” Research has found that feeling grateful helps people sleep better and longer. That’s likely because you have more positive thoughts before you go to sleep, which may soothe the nervous system. If you’re going to make a daily gratitude list, we recommend writing it before bed.
Gratitude may stop you from overeating
Cultivating feelings of gratitude can boost your impulse control, helping you slow down and make better decisions. If you find yourself taking slice after slice of pumpkin pie, for example, perhaps excuse yourself from the table to write down a list of things that you are grateful for, which can help you clear your mind and reset.
help ease depression
Try the “three good things” exercise — which, as the name suggests, prompts people to think of three good moments or things that happened that day — see considerable improvements in depression and overall happiness, sometimes in as little as a couple weeks.Gratitude is very powerful.
give you happiness that lasts
Lots of things, from a compliment to a sugary treat, can bring little bursts of happiness. However, instant gratification also goes away quickly, which leaves you craving more. “Gratitude is something that leads to much more sustainable forms of happiness, because it’s not based in that immediate gratification; it’s a frame of mind. If you regularly take time to express gratitude and thankfulness, you’re likely to see results.
Allow the power of gratitude to enter your life and change your life for the better!
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