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As Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, today is a great opportunity to pause for a moment and consider the importance of gratitude. It is always nice to count your blessings on Thanksgiving when surrounded by close family and friends; however, giving the same thanks throughout the year could have a positive impact on your life. Today we will unfold the seven benefits of gratitude.
Gratitude Opens the Door for Additional Relationships
Saying thank you is often just good manners—but showing appreciation can also help you make new friends and build new relationships. Thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. Whether you thank a stranger for opening a door or you send a quick thank-you note to a peer who helped you with a project, recognizing others’ contributions can lead to new openings.
Grateful People are More Hopeful
Studies have shown that being more grateful can foster a feeling of well-being and hope. When one actively takes time to note all of the things they are grateful for, they often feel better both mentally and physically. Gratitude’s benefits are not only correlational but, in some aspects, also casual. Gratitude can act directly, as a causal agent of well-being, in addition to acting indirectly, as a means of buffering against negative states and emotions.
Improve Physical Health with Gratitude
Did you know that grateful people experience fewer aches and pains? Those who are grateful tend to report feeling healthier than those who do not actively practice gratefulness. This has a direct correlation, as grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health through daily exercise and routine checkups. All of these factors contribute to further longevity.
Be a Better Leader
Keeping your peers, coworkers, or employees happy and motivated starts with gratitude. Those who feel their work is appreciated and recognized are more likely to work harder. Grateful leaders motivate their employees’ productivity.
Resilience is defined in psychology as the capacity to cope with stress, traumatic events, and adversity. Research has shown that not only does gratitude help decrease stress levels, but it also plays a large factor in overcoming trauma. Recognizing all you have to be thankful for—even during the worst times of your life—cultivates resilience.
Gratitude can help reduce social comparisons, because rather than becoming resentful toward people who have something you desire, you can appreciate one’s accomplishments instead.
Have More Energy
Being cognizant in noting and practicing gratefulness could help you reach your goals. A study showed that college students who kept a journal of gratitude had higher levels of determination, enthusiasm, and attentiveness compared with their peers.
Gratitude is a way for one to appreciate what they have rather than reaching for something new in the hopes that it will bring them happiness. The act of gratefulness can help refocus on what one already has instead of what one lacks. We all have the opportunity to mindfully practice gratefulness not just at Thanksgiving, but also year-round.