This time of year we begin to reflect over the past year and remember what we are thankful for. We aspire to be better the following year and create goals and new year resolutions. We reflect inwards and see the changes we have been through and changes to come. Gratitude for the tough times and the good times can change your perspective on life, what has been and what is to come. Graciously realizing you have grown and become stronger because of the hard times and being able to appreciate the good times even more because of the hard times.
Showing gratitude can impact your health! Looking out and helping others and showing your gratitude can make you feel better and happy about your life.
Gratitude Builds Relationships – A simple “thank you”, a smile, or holding the door for someone has the ability to impact their day and you will feel better for showing respect and gratitude. Simple gestures can breed conversation and build relationships
Gratitude Improves Physical and Psychological Health – Studies show grateful people have fewer aches and pains and feel healthier. Showing gratitude reduces toxic emotions such as resentment, envy, and anger. Gratitude is effective in reducing depression and increases happiness.
Gratitude Enhances Empathy and Reduces Aggression – The more you show gratitude, the more likely you are to respond sensitively and empathetic when given negative feedback. You will also be less likely to retaliate against others when you are grateful.
Better Night’s Sleep – If you struggle with sleep, try writing down 15 things you are grateful for each day. Expressing gratitude has been shown to improve sleep.
Gratitude Improves Self Esteem – Studies show gratitude is linked to increased self esteem and a reduction in social comparisons. Grateful people tend to appreciate where they are in life and encourage others.
Gratitude Increases Mental Strength – Gratitude reduces stress and can aid in overcoming trauma. This has been especially studied in PTSD patients. Recognizing all you have to be thankful for – even during the worst times of your life – fosters resilience.
We have the opportunity to cultivate gratitude through simple gestures such as buying someone’s coffee, holding the door, offering a simple compliment, and reflecting on the positives in our own lives. Developing an attitude of gratitude can have significant impacts on your health and maybe even extend your life!