Why is gratitude important for success? How do you practice gratitude daily?
The power of gratitude cannot be denied.
Everyone knows what being grateful means. Simply put, it’s being thankful for a person, object, feeling, or situation.
But did you know that it is incredibly powerful? So powerful that it has the power to change your life?
Buddha said, “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
So, why is gratitude important? According to Buddha, even if we didn’t learn a vast amount on any particular day, we learned something. And even if we got sick, we’re still here to talk about it.
What he’s really talking about here is the concept of appreciating the little things. That means that even if things go wrong, there is always a silver lining. There is always something to be grateful for.
What are the benefits of gratitude?
Why is gratitude important? Research tells us that it has tons of positive effects on your heart and mind. It is one of the easiest tools you can use to improve your emotional health and is accessible to everyone! Keep reading to find out Psychology Today’s 7 proven gratitude benefits.
#1. Being grateful improves your relationships
Have you ever wondered why your parents drilled good manners into your head? Making you say “Please” and “Thank you” after every little thing? I know I did. Well, studies show that the simple act of saying “Thank you for XYZ” improves your relationships with those around you.
Everyone likes to be appreciated. So the more often you thank a new acquaintance, the more likely they are to become a good friend.
Why is gratitude important? Ask the busy mom that was just genuinely thanked by her husband. It makes all the difference in the world.
After you read this, send someone you love a text message. Tell them, genuinely, “Thank You” for something they’ve done for you recently. You will make their day, and reap some benefits in the process.
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#2. Gratitude benefits your health
Why is gratitude important for your health and fitness?
Psychology Today says, “Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.”
The more you can appreciate the little things, the more the big things start to matter. It’s a snowball effect. If you can appreciate first getting a good parking spot, then a nice call with a loved one, you are more likely to be grateful for yourself. This leads to better self-care and better health.
For instance, if you are grateful for a recent good blood test result, this will reinforce health as a positive thing in your mind. It’s more likely that you will continue to go for these tests and checkups, and regularly monitor your health.
#3. Thankfulness is good for your mental health
Just like it’s good for your body, it’s also good for your mind. Being truly grateful for something is the first step in letting go of lots of negative emotions like hate, shame, guilt, and regret. Once you can release your mind from the prison these emotions put it in, this leads to an overall improvement in happiness.
Keep reading to see my life hacks for positive thinking and being a happier person because they have been game-changers for me.
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#4. Gratitude makes you more empathetic
The article linked above says that being grateful makes you more prosocial. That means being kind and saying “Thank You” helps ingrain in your mind a more “people-centered” way of living. It means there is an increased chance you will be kinder in a variety of situations.
The world needs empathy right now. It needs it more than anything. So, thank that neighbor that helps you with your yard work with a plate of brownies, and tell them how much you appreciate them.
The more you can think about others, for instance, how grateful you are for the way your mom helps you with your kids, you might be a little empathetic to her struggles. Since she goes out of her way to help you when mornings get chaotic, that can help you pay more attention to when she needs extra support.
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#5. Gratitude helps you sleep better
Why else is gratitude important? Another reason is that studies show it helps you sleep better. A 2009 sleep study concluded that “Gratitude predicted greater subjective sleep quality and sleep duration, and less sleep latency and daytime dysfunction.”
One way to utilize gratitude for sleep is to write in a journal before you hit the sheets.
If you can spend some time turning struggles you have into opportunities for gratitude, that can clear your mind enough to be able to wind down for sleep.
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I will get into the specific benefits of gratitude journaling in a bit, so keep reading to find out more!
#6. Being grateful improves your self-esteem
In another really interesting study cited in this article, gratitude can improve your self-esteem. Being a grateful person helps you to appreciate other people’s accomplishments more, which lowers your level of envy in social situations.
For instance, when you give thanks for a friend’s recent promotion, it teaches your brain to celebrate them rather than feel envious. Over time, your brain adapts to that model and doesn’t experience jealousy nearly as often.
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#7. Gratitude increases your mental strength
What are other reasons why gratitude is so important? More studies show that regular gratitude improves your emotional resilience, therefore increasing your mental strength.
This is because when you are doing your daily gratitude exercises, it often involves you putting a silver lining on negative situations. This teaches your brain to press on in difficult times and adapt to them in a healthier way.
How to Practice Gratitude
As you can see, more and more studies are answering the question; Why is gratitude important? Now that we’ve answered that ourselves, let’s talk about how you can get started.
There are lots of ways you can practice gratitude on a daily basis. Here are several that are easy to implement, and don’t cost much money just your time:
- Write a handwritten note when you receive a gift.
- Leave out bottles of water for Amazon delivery people on hot days.
- Send flowers to your child’s teacher or babysitter.
- If your neighbor bakes you brownies, return the favor with some cookies.
- Treat a friend to dinner that helped you out with a household project.
- Pay it forward in line at Starbucks and pay for the person behind or in front of you.
- Say “Thank You.” Just those two words can suffice, but try to be as specific as possible.
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How You Can Challenge Negative Thoughts
One important step in your journey to a more positive, happier mindset is ditching all those negative thoughts. You might be saying, “Easier said than done.” But really all it takes is 3 easy steps.
Step #1: Recognize the negative thought as it happens.
We’re all going to think negatively from time to time, no matter how positive we are. It just happens. We’re only human. So, when it does, recognize it, accept that you’ve thought it, and move on to Step 2.
Step #2: Say “cancel cancel.”
Yep, simple as that. You literally just say that phrase out loud, or in your head, and then move on top Step 3.
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Step #3: Replace the negative thought with a positive one.
Now that you “canceled” your negative thought, you need to give your brain something positive to think in its place. Let’s use poor body image as an example.
If you regularly think about how much you hate your body, you might go through the following process:
- Step 1: “I hate the way my stomach looks.”
- Step 2: “Cancel cancel.”
- Step 3: “My body has done amazing things, including giving birth to children, and I honor its journey.”
It might seem silly at first, but over time this is a really useful tool for being a happier, more grateful person. If you are plagued by negativity, you are going to have a difficult, if not impossible, time expressing gratitude.
What are the benefits of a gratitude journal?
I mentioned earlier that there are lots of benefits of a gratitude journal.
An article on NPR says that, “A study found that keeping a gratitude journal decreased materialism and bolstered generosity among adolescents. In another study from August, high school students who were asked to keep gratitude journals also reported healthier eating. There’s also some evidence it could lower your risk of heart disease and lower symptoms of depression for some people.”
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All you have to do is grab a notebook and pen, and start writing! If you are unsure what to write you can get this free 30-day gratitude journal, with daily prompts. In the meantime, here are a few ideas.
- Write down something great that happened that day, and express genuine gratitude.
- Talk about someone who really helped you out recently.
- Write down things you love about your spouse.
- Jot down some ideas for nice things you can do for the people in your life.
All it takes is a few minutes a day, and maybe setting a reminder on your phone. Easy as that.
Why is gratitude important?
The power of gratitude is more massive than you can even know. We’ve only just scratched the surface here. But we’ve shown that gratitude has at least 7 benefits for your mind and body. And that’s nothing to shake a stick at.
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A simple way to experience them is just by saying “Thank you,” more often, and writing in a daily gratitude journal.
Free 30-Day Gratitude Journal
Ready to practice daily gratitude? Get your FREE Printable Gratitude Journal, with 30 days of self-reflection prompts.
Why is gratitude important to you? What are you most thankful for? Let us know in the comments below.
We would love to hear from you. Also, make sure you share this post. It really helps. If you have, we appreciate you!
Give these gratitude benefits some thought, and put them into practice today.
And remember, you can be grateful even in the most difficult of times.
Why is gratitude so important? Why should you be more thankful? Click here for seven ways being grateful and expressing gratitude changes your life by @jvan3610. #Gratitude #Thankful #Grateful
Why is gratitude important?
More About Guest Contributor
Jen lives in Northwest Indiana with her husband and two children (ages 4.5 and 3). She has bipolar disorder and frequently writes about her experiences with that. In her spare time, she is OBSESSED with true crime. She is also a bookworm, TV junkie, and fitness nut.
Last Updated on November 19, 2022