Here’s a major reason to be thankful this holiday: researchers are increasingly finding that gratitude doesn’t just make you feel better, it actually has a positive effect on your physical health. Here are 4 scientifically proven ways in which gratitude makes you healthier.
1. A grateful heart is a healthy heart
A 2015 study found that people who experience high levels of gratitude in their daily lives were also more likely to experience: (1) better moods, (2) less fatigue, (3) less inflammation, and (3) better quality sleep—all of which are known to have a positive effect on our heart health.
2. Giving thanks Is good for Your Mood
Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression and stress levels.
3. Gratitude Keeps You Focused
Studies show that gratitude develops our personality in so many positive ways: from increasing resilience, optimism and self-esteem, to reducing the feelings of envy, resentment and self-centeredness. Grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments and feel motivated to reach their own personal goals.
4. being Thankful Improves Friendships
About 10 million people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and social isolation is one of the biggest predictors of depression during the holidays. A 2015 study in the journal Emotion found that saying “thank you” to a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. So, whether you give thanks to a stranger for holding the door or send a thank-you note to an old friend, you're creating greater connectedness.
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