What is gratitude to you? Is it the simple act of saying “thank you” when a stranger holds the door open for you, or a co-worker buys you a coffee. Does it hold a deeper meaning and appreciation for you like stopping to smell the beautiful flowers in the Spring or watch the colours on a butterfly wings as it flutters by?
There have been many studies done on gratitude, both at a scientific level as well as on a more social and casual platform. The one consistent thing that always shows up in any study is the fact that when we express our sincere gratitude on a regular basis we become happier. There is actually a direct correlation, in that the more gratitude you express, the happier you will become.
There are many other key benefits to expressing gratitude, whether in a daily journal, or sharing it with your family at the dinner table.
♥ It helps create new relationships – showing a new acquaintance how much you appreciate them for even the little things, makes it more likely that they will seek an ongoing relationship
♥ Decreases pain and physical symptoms – grateful people tend to take better care of themselves and in turn experience less overall aches and pains, as well as lower blood pressure and stress levels
♥ Increase in emotional and mental well being – when we are able to see the wonder in everything that we do have, instead of focusing on what we don’t, we have a decrease in negative or toxic emotions
♥ Grateful people sleep better – studies show that those who write in a gratitude journal before bed, go to bed happier, sleep longer and more soundly, and wake up feeling even more grateful and rested
♥ Increase self confidence – when we are grateful for what we have, we don’t compare ourselves to others and can truly be happy for their accomplishments without feelings of self doubt
These few reasons alone are enough to make any of us want to express more gratitude throughout our day. It is so simple and takes no time at all to share or write down just one thing each day that you are grateful for, but it can make a world of difference to your overall health and happiness. Don’t forget to get your family involved and make it a fun activity that you can all do together 😉