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The Amazing Healing Benefits of Gratitude

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The Amazing Healing Benefits of Gratitude

by Kimberly Snyder

If you’re alive and reading this, you have something to be grateful for. That’s great news! This post will give you support in practicing gratitude on a regular basis, so you can better heal yourself, while lowering stress and anxiety, enhancing your sleep, and improving your relationships.

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The Healing Benefits of Gratitude

You may not realize that something as simple as expressing gratitude—something that costs nothing and takes very little time—can have such an impact on your health. Yoga Masters have been teaching for centuries that gratitude is a key component of a happy, balanced and healthy life, but it’s nice to see that it’s in alignment with modern findings. A comprehensive look at gratitude and its effects [1] showed that when you routinely appreciate others or even just the positive parts of your life, you can experience:

The review suggests that there could actually be a causal relationship between gratitude and well-being. That means increasing gratitude could directly enhance many different aspects of your life, most notably your health. Could there be an easier, or more inexpensive way to enhance both your happiness and health? (Okay, sometimes gratitude can be challenging when you’re feeling down—especially in the beginning–but with practice, it becomes much easier, I promise!) Training yourself to think this way only takes a few minutes at a time, per day or even per week. Eventually, it will help shift your whole perspective on life in a much more positive way.

What Is Gratitude, Really?

That seems simple enough to answer, right? You can feel gratitude when someone helps you out, but being thankful isn’t always related to another person. Are you thankful for your warm clothes in the winter, even if you purchased them yourself? What about your meals, even if you’re the one who has to prepare and cook them?

No matter what, you can focus more on the positive and choose to feel gratitude for anything, or anyone, at any time. Once you get into the habit of consciously appreciating the positives around you, that attitude spreads over into the times when you aren’t actively practicing the feeling of thanks. I do this when I walk down the street or wander into my backyard and gaze at the lemon tree. I express gratitude every day for each and every unique, beautiful tree and plant I see. I think we should all be more grateful for nature and her beauty every day!

Final note about the research. When comparing feelings of gratitude to other areas of the subjects’ lives in the studies, there were correlations between gratitude and:

How to Practice This Universal Language

Learning to practice gratitude isn’t a long, drawn-out process. You can start right now and begin noticing differences in how you feel and your outlook on life in just a few weeks, even if you’re not practicing daily.

Start Today!

Use this today as a starting point for a lifetime of feelings of gratitude. Your whole outlook on life will change once you give yourself that nudge, and you’ll feel better in so many different ways when you begin focusing on the positives. Look at what you do have, be thankful, and strive to reach out to help other people and keep the goodwill going.

Related article: Change Your Reality With A Walk Of Gratitude

The goodness in your life will blossom in even more abundance as you do.

Now here’s my turn: I’m sending gratitude to YOU for being you and part of this wonderful community.

[1] http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/pdfs/GratitudePDFs/2Wood-GratitudeWell-BeingReview.pdf
[2] http://spp.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/09/02/1948550611416675.abstract
[3] http://www.psy.miami.edu/faculty/mmccullough/Papers/Gratitude_CDPS_2008.pdf
http://www.socialemotions.org/page5/files/Bartlett.DeSteno.2006.pdf
[4] http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/Labs/emmons/PWT/index.cfm?Section=4
[5] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01273.x/abstract

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