The Top 7 Health Benefits of Gratitude
It’s been said that the two most powerful words in the English language are “Thank You.” But did you know that adopting an attitude of gratitude also can have a tangible, positive impact on your health? Here are some ways that being grateful can boost your spirit and contribute to your overall quality of life.
- Lower Blood Pressure. In a 2007 study, researchers found that people who were instructed to “count their blessings” once a week showed a significant decrease in their systolic blood pressure.
- Lower Risk of Depression. According to Sanam Hafeez, M.D., gratitude reminds us that not everything in our lives is bad and can give us motivation and a sense of hope that can protect us from feelings of depression.
- Better Sleep. In a research project of 65 people with chronic pain, those who were assigned a daily gratitude journal assignment reported a half an hour more sleep than those who were not. In other studies, the discipline of gratitude has caused people to report a faster time to sleep, improved sleep quality, and more alertness during the day.
- Reduces Stress. Because gratitude activates the parasympathetic nervous system, it can stave off stress which has very well-known destructive health implications.
- Increased Energy. Multiple studies have correlated vitality and gratitude, and because gratitude increases physical and mental well-being, it can lead to increased energy levels.
- Improved Self Care. Grateful people are more likely to exercise and take care of their health, according to a 2012 study. They are more likely to have regular check-ups and take precautions to improve their health.
- Boost Mental Strength. For people who have experienced traumatic events, gratitude has been shown to help buffer the long-term impact of that trauma and can lead to much greater resilience.
“A Year of Wellness.”