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7 Surprising Benefits of Gratitude November 22, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
43 comments

IMGP1216bScientists who study the phenomenon have noticed a not-too-surprising result:

Gratitude makes us healthier and happier and more fun to be around.

Numerous studies by scientists with impressive credentials demonstrate that people who give thanks have a higher quality of life than those who whine  about daily trials and tribulations while hanging on to junk from the past.

1.  They do more ~ gratitude studies reveal that people who make an effort to be grateful for small things end up accomplishing great things.

2.  They feel better about their lives ~ optimism makes them more enthusiastic and energetic and determined to enjoy new challenges.

3.  They function better ~ joy and optimism makes them bounce around like Tiggers rather than dragging sorry-ass tails around like Eeyore.

4.  They are healthier ~ they exercise more, have fewer illnesses, and sleep better when they conk out at night.

5.   They live in the NOW ~ they are more interested in others (and more interesting to others) because they don’t waste precious energy bemoaning the past or worrying about the future.

6.  They give back ~ they are more likely to reach out and lend a hand, which makes them feel good, which makes them more likely to reach out and lend a hand.

7.  They reap other rewards ~ clearer thinking, better resilience during tough times, a higher immune response, lower stress-related illnesses, and stronger relationships.

Good news!  We can achieve all these benefits without running a marathon or doing 300 crunches each night before bed!

Simply focus on what’s right with your world.  Take a few moments each  evening to jot down 3 things that happened for which you are grateful:

* “We’re warm and dry.  Dinner rocked.  We won’t go to bed hungry, thirsty, or cold.”

* “We have all we need and then some ~ the extras, the gravy, the bling, the surplus beyond the basics.”

Stumped?  Check out The Queen of Versailles and give thanks for who you are, as you are.  (Tip:  If you are fat, lazy, and stupid, use someone who is fatter, lazier, and stupider as a frame of reference.) 

Keeping a gratitude journal trains you to look at life in a more positive way. It becomes a bit of a game to go through your day noticing things that uplift you and put a smile on your face.

But wait, there’s more!

As you scribble down the positives, negatives start to fade away.  Soon, you’ll overlook minor set-backs that used to throw you into a dizzying downward spiral and your glass will never be half-empty again.

Quote:  Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Gratitude from A to Z * Happy . . . The Movie * Success ~ A Life Well Lived (DP Prompt) * Gratitude & Happiness (T4D)