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The Mental and Emotional Health Benefits of Gratitude

The health benefits of gratitude are well documented by a wide variety of studies (as well as common sense). Negativity is bad for you. It actually hurts your health, discourages healing, and can isolate you emotionally.
A positive outlook, on the other hand, can help you live a fuller life with more confidence and greater joy. Here are just a few of the ways that expressing gratitude at work and in your home life can make your life better:
Grateful people have more friends.
Giving thanks at work, with friends, and with family is a simple way to show people that you appreciate them. It makes sense that people who feel appreciated are more likely to hang around and connect with you. The human condition is one of empathy. We feel a deep need to connect with others, and sharing our gratitude is a direct path toward personal connection.
Grateful people sleep better.
Writing in a daily gratitude journal before bed improves sleep, according to a 2011 study. Spending fifteen minutes or so thinking about things from the day that you’re grateful for and writing them down will put you in a better mood, calm you down, and help ease you into a more peaceful sleep. It’s a simple way to process each day from a positive point of view.
Grateful people have higher self-esteem.
Being grateful for the people and things around you makes it easier to recognize your own skills, talents, and accomplishments. Focusing on gratitude helps do away with comparison thinking, which can be very harmful to self-esteem. When we stop being envious of others and instead learn to appreciate their successes, we reduce the pressure on ourselves and make it easier to be grateful for who we are today and what we have, not what we want to be.
Grateful people have greater mental strength.
In times of hardship and stress, people who turn to what they still have rather than what they have lost are more resilient. Various studies have shown that focusing on gratitude can actually reduce stress levels and may be a core component of overcoming trauma.

About Joy Ruhmann
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