Who among us doesn’t want to be happy, healthy and have strong relationships? Surely we all want to! We always collect life hacks, tips that include exercise, diet, enough rest or an organized lifestyle.
What if I told you there is a simple exercise that stimulates happiness, health and our relationships, all at the same time? What is it? Gratitude! It sounds way too simple, right? Let me explain.
Gratitude is an attitude, even a lifestyle, that has been proven to have many benefits in terms of health, happiness, life satisfaction and how we relate to others. It focuses on the present and on appreciating what we have right now. When we feel and express gratitude, our mental attention is directed towards positive things that offset the natural tendency of our brain to focus on the negative aspects of everyday life. In this way, gratitude creates positive emotions, such as joy, love and contentment that can undo the tension of negative feelings, such as anxiety.
These are some clear benefits of gratitude confirmed by studies:
It develops lasting joy – If we focus on the favorable circumstances of our lives, we will have a positive attitude. Being thankful not only contributes to an increase in positive feelings but also supports them in the long run.
It protects against stress and negativity - Gratitude is associated with decreased anxiety and depression.
It reduces materialism - One reason why gratitude stimulates well-being is that it reduces the materialist view that burdens our lives.
It develops social intelligence - Gratitude has a real impact on our ability to interact, maintain and build relationships with others. Gratitude strengthens relationships, helps to create and maintain good relationships and helps you feel closer to people.
It makes you more attractive - Romantic relationships will be improved, partners feeling happy with their relationships and more connected to one another.
It improves sleep - This is possible thanks to the positive thoughts we have before falling asleep.
It strengthens willpower and helps you make better decisions – Being thankful makes us stronger, helps us achieve our goals and make wiser decisions in the long run.
It offers benefits during all stages of life, from adolescence to adulthood.
It makes us better persons - Turns us into selfless people. We become more courteous and eager to help others.
It makes the world a better place to live in - When we thank others and express our gratitude towards them, we indirectly help them become better people too.
But maybe you don’t feel that you're a grateful person. What can you do? It is in our power to choose and adopt this attitude. Sick or healthy, young or old, employed or not, as long as we breathe and our heart beats, there are reasons to be grateful!
Gratitude is a value that must be trained. Scientists have found a useful way to improve our well-being and positive attitude. Every day write a list of 5 things you are thankful for. This simple exercise can increase your happiness.