“Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues, but the parent of all of the others” – Cicero (106–43BC)
Most people think being grateful is just tricking your mind into believing that things are fine every time you come across challenges and hurdles. The universe does not answer to your words but to your feelings, so just saying things without meaning them is of no use. Living a grateful life means you are focusing on the things that are working in your favor and appreciating them rather than complaining about the things that are not going according to your plans.
There has been thousands of scientific studies done on gratitude and they all suggest that being grateful can improve your sleep, make you happier, make you healthier, improve your relationships with others and enhance the over all quality of your life. Most of these studies found a very strong link between gratitude and happiness.
Here are 7 benefits of practicing Gratitude.
1. You Become Happier :
Who doesn’t want to be happier? Scientific research has shown that gratitude increases your happiness in the long term. Participants in the study were made to keep a gratitude journal and write in there once a week. The results were fascinating. They experienced an increase of 2% in happiness the first week, 5% after the first month, and 9% after six months. When you focus on things you are grateful for rather than things that are not working in your favor you will always feel happier.
“Happiness cannot be traveled to owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” – Denis Waitley
2. You have better Relationships:
Being grateful for the people in your life improves your relationship with them as you feel connected on a deeper level. One of the scientific study states “Gratitude may help clients to savor the benefits that they receive from others, thereby extending the emotional benefits that people receive from their positive social interactions with others.” When we focus on the positives of the people surrounding us, we are also less likely to feel anger and resentment towards them.
“Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
3. You become more Forgiving and Empathetic:
Practicing gratitude increases your understanding of the other person and you are more likely to be compassionate, forgiving and empathetic.
4. Increases your sense of Inner Well being:
When you feel and express gratitude regularly you are connected with your true self, your inner being. You feel more loved and blessed. You understand that everything that you are experiencing has a purpose, a reason for it, that there is a power that has your back.
A scientific research concluded that being grateful builds and enhances our sense of spirituality. This results in increasing our sense of well being.
“Just an observation: it is impossible to be both grateful and depressed. Those with a grateful mindset tend to see the message in the mess. And even though life may knock them down, the grateful find reasons, if even small ones, to get up.” ― Steve Maraboli
5. It helps you sleep better:
In a scientific study done in 2009 researchers stated “Gratitude predicted greater subjective sleep quality and sleep duration, and less sleep latency and daytime dysfunction.”
6. Being grateful helps you calm your mind and body:
Research has shown that gratitude has the power to block out negative emotions and helps you to successfully deal with challenges at hand as it changes your perception about them which helps in not letting it turn into stress and anxiety.
7. Gratitude helps you to be fully present in the Now:
Being grateful for what is, allows us to be fully present in this very moment and enjoy it to its fullest capacity.
“Forget yesterday – it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow – you haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift.” ― Steve Maraboli
This brings us to the very important and relevant question…
How can we live a Life Full of Gratitude or How to Practice Being Grateful?