Gratitude is a selfless act. Gratitude acts are done unconditionally to show to people that they are appreciated, not because people are looking for something in return but at the same time it does feel nice at the same time. Gratitude can be contagious, in a good way gratitude is also a powerful tool for strengthening interpersonal relationships. People who express their gratitude tend to be more willing to forgive others and less narcissistic.
We all are well aware that there is a link between the mind and body and therefore gratitude has a double benefit! The feeling of appreciation when we are grateful helps us to have healthier minds and with that healthier bodies. It seems that gratitude is like opening yet another door into the world of health.
1. Gratitude makes us more optimistic. Gratitude is strongly correlated with optimism. Optimism makes us happier, improves our health, and increases lifespan by as much as a few years. Being grateful can have a huge impact on our overall well being.
2. Gratitude makes us less self-centered. The very nature of gratitude is to focus on others (on their acts of benevolence or goodness). Gratitude practice can be better than self-esteem therapy. Self-esteem therapy focuses the individual back on themselves: I’m smart, I look good, I can succeed, but being grateful and more understanding towards others can make you feel good about oneself and others too.
3. Gratitude increases self-esteem. Gratitude has been shown in many studies to make people kinder and more friendly, and that because of that, grateful people have more social capital. This means that grateful people are actually more likely to receive help from others for no reason other than that they are liked and appreciated. This feeling will always boost ones confidence.
4. Gratitude improves your sleep. Gratitude has shown to increase your sleep quality, reduce the time required to fall asleep and also increase the sleep duration. Gratitude can help with insomnia. The key is what’s on our minds as we’re trying to fall asleep. If it's thinking about a few things we have to be grateful for today, it will induce the relaxation response. Thus having positive thoughts at night will always help in the long run.
5. Gratitude helps us bounce back. Those that have more gratitude have a more pro-active coping style, are more likely to have and seek out social support in times of need, are less likely to develop emotional issues and are more likely to grow in times of stress. Being grateful makes you more resilient and makes you strong enough to take on adverse situations.