The Benefits of Gratitude
by Genevieve Votra | April 14, 2023
The American Psychological Association defines gratitude as a sense of happiness and thankfulness in response to a fortunate happenstance or tangible gift. Practicing gratitude, according to research studies, can improve your physical and psychological health. People that are grateful tend to be happier and healthier than those who are not grateful.
Gratitude is a simple emotion, but it has the power to transform people’s lives. Here are the reasons why gratitude is powerful:
- It makes you happier.
People who are grateful are happier and positive, and they are more helpful and charitable to other people. A grateful disposition increases self-esteem, which leads to a better sense of well-being.
- It improves your relationships.
When you are grateful, you are more present toward others, which encourages more positive interaction and connectedness. Expressing your gratitude means you value the other person and his or her actions, making them feel appreciated. This strengthens your relationship with them.
- It increases your resilience during times of adversity.
Grateful people, when faced with difficulties, maintains their positive and hopeful outlook in life; hence, they are more likely to cope. Also, gratitude increases optimism, general well-being of the person, and better physical health.
- It boosts your immune system.
A study reveals that being grateful increases the levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody that helps fight off infection. Also, gratitude helps in reducing stress, thereby improving the immune system.
- It prevents depression and anxiety.
Gratitude is strongly related to metal well-being. Because gratitude makes you feel good about yourself, then your mental well-being is sound. Also, being grateful means you are focusing on the positive instead of the negative things in life. We all know that feeling and thinking negatively causes depression and anxiety. Gratitude helps us counter this by shifting our focus to the positive.
- It improves your energy level.
Gratitude can make you feel energetic, alert, and more focused. Because being grateful keeps you in the present moment, you are more engaged of what is happening in the present.
- It improves your self-esteem.
Gratitude can significantly affect your self-esteem. Being grateful makes you feel appreciated and valued. This increases your self-confidence, making you feel good about yourself.
In short, gratitude can lead you to greater happiness. With gratitude, people are able to be more positive; able to relish the good experiences, which improve their health; able to deal with adversity; and able to build strong relationships.