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10 Proven Benefits of Gratitude To Improve Your Life

benefits of gratitude / gratitude journal on desk

Do you want to make some changes to improve your life? Want to make a difference but aren’t sure where to begin? Gratitude, while it appears to be basic, is a practice that goes back thousands of years and has numerous advantages. Gratitude is also accessible wherever you are. In this blog post, we’ll share 10 benefits of gratitude you can experience today!

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What Is Gratitude?

Gratitude simply entails being grateful and expressing appreciation for the good in your life. It’s both a thought and an emotion that, hopefully, inspires you to take action. When someone is grateful, they recognize the good things that have happened to them. You can focus on specific things or your life as a whole.

When you look for the good instead of the bad, it changes your perspective and how you see yourself and others. It’s important to be grateful not just so you can receive more good in your life but also because it benefits others.

Remembering all the good things you have in your life is crucial to leading a happy and fulfilling life. Of course, it’s normal to think about the bad or negative things that happen, but it becomes unhealthy when you dwell on them without thinking about what went right too. If you focus only on the negatives, chances are you’ll become dissatisfied with your life.

Gratitude lets you appreciate the good things in life and all of the wonderful people who are connected to those things. It’s an emotion that makes you feel inspired, safe, and free. Here are 10 benefits of gratitude that will help improve your life.

Get the 33 Journal Prompts For Personal Development in a FREE printable PDF by clicking the button below.

benefits of gratitude

10 Proven Benefits Of Gratitude To Enhance Your Life

1. Boosts Physical Activity

One study showed that people who regularly wrote in gratitude journals worked out 1.5 hours more than people who didn’t. [*]

2. Improves Heart Health

A study led by Dr. Paul Mills and his team found that patients who wrote in gratitude journals for eight weeks showed improved heart health. [*]

3. Promotes Better Sleep

Focusing on gratitude (instead of worrying about problems) before going to sleep helped people sleep deeper and longer. [*]

Related: How To Sleep Better With Chronic Back Pain

 4. Improves Mental Health

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a top gratitude researcher, has performed many studies on the link between gratitude and mental health. His research shows that gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression.

Win-win!

Related: 9 Powerful Ways To Turn Your Brain Towards Happiness

5. Reduces Envy

A 2002 study showed that having an attitude of gratitude was negatively associated with materialism and envy.

Let’s get real here. Do you ever struggle with comparing yourself to other people?

The next time your neighbor pulls up in their fancy sports car and you find yourself feeling envious, be thankful for who and what you have in your life.

The more grateful you are, the less likely you are to feel depressed, lonely, critical, or jealous. [*]

If you’re doubting this really works, then try it for yourself and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised.

6. Reduces Aggression

In 2011, researchers studied a group of teenagers to measure the relationship between gratitude and aggressive behavior. Their findings showed that gratitude is linked to lower rates of aggression. [*]

7. Improves Energy

You may be looking for ways to boost your energy levels naturally. It seems like everyone is looking for more energy these days.

Two different experiments showed a strong correlation between increased vitality and gratitude. And these findings were consistent regardless of different personality types. [*]

8. Strengthens Social Relationships

The proven social benefits of gratitude are far-reaching. For example, one study showed that expressing gratitude in social relationships gives them a boost through “relationship-building behaviors.” [*]

Who doesn’t love that?!

Related: 8 Ways To Improve Your Communication Skills

And this next one is sure to get your attention because it involves enhancing your love life…

9. Improves Satisfaction In Romantic Relationships

In a 2010 study, couples wrote in daily journals to track their personal relationship satisfaction. They wrote down small things they noticed about their partner that they were grateful for.

The researchers noticed that when a person shared gratitude for something their partner did their relationship satisfaction went up. And this happened for both partners.

They also found that people who feel appreciated in their relationship are the most likely to stay and work through any problems they might be having. [*]

And, here’s a little tidbit from berkeley.edu I thought you might enjoy: 

Between spouses, the experiences that people rated feeling most grateful for were “expressions of love and affection,” and “being listened to”; these were more gratifying than flowers or vacations.

This is 100% true for me (and I absolutely love a good beach vacation). What do you think?

For more on how to the power of gratitude, you’ll want to check out: 

10. Reduces Stress

Two studies followed students who were transitioning to college. Researchers recorded observations at the beginning and end of the first semester.

They found that students who showed more gratitude were protected from stress, likely because they believed they had great social support. [*]

Interesting, right?

(For more on reducing stress, go to 5 Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Relax and 10 Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety.)

Printable Gratitude Tracker

Want to start a daily gratitude practice? It’s surprisingly easy to start and it’s a great way to improve your life. You can create and print out a simple and effective gratitude tracker so you can quickly and easily record all the good things in your day every day.

Check out our Gratitude Wellness Journal and Daily Gratitude Tracker to get started!

gratitude wellness journal printable
Gratitude Wellness Journal Printable

Final Thoughts – The Importance of Gratitude

As you can see, having an *attitude of gratitude is beneficial to your health, career, social network, friends, and family. Plus, gratitude is contagious too….so share it with those closest to you as well as people you’ve never met.

You may be shocked by the positive changes that start happening in your life when you make gratitude a priority.

The research above doesn’t lie. Practicing gratitude can reduce feelings of envy and aggression. It improves your energy, mental health, and sleep and can even boost your heart health.

And, even though it’s cheesy, together, we can make the world a better place…one expression of gratitude at a time!

Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude

How has being thankful impacted your life? What other benefits of gratitude have you noticed? Share below!

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