Can being grateful really help our mental health? Science tells us it can.
Studies have proven over time the importance of being grateful and the correlation it has with how we see the world and more importantly how we manage our mental health.
Being grateful actually helps us feel better about ourselves and others. That’s a pretty good place to start when it comes to our mental health.
Being grateful allows you to be more connected with others and develop stronger connections. When we are feeling thankful and expressing our gratitude, we attract positive interaction with people and create stronger bonds. Expressing gratitude helps people around us feel appreciated, in turn allowing us to feel more accepted and connected.
The more grateful we are the happier we feel. Positive thinking creates positive feelings.
Our mind and body are very much connected and when we don’t feel good emotionally our body feels it too. Often stress, trauma or depression is felt in the stomach or our muscles and joints. By mentally feeling good, it also helps our body relax and feel good.
Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. People that are less grateful have a tendency to be more resentful and angry. Not leaving much room for positive emotions.
… and when there are less positive emotions we have trouble sleeping and feel more emotionally drained and physically tired.
In a recent article I read it stated that gratitude can also increase a person's self-esteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs – which is a major factor in reduced self-esteem - grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
So, let's start today by being grateful for one thing each day for the next 30 days and see the impact it can have on your mental health!
P.S. Thank you for reading.