It’s that time of year where we celebrate Gratitude: which means we begin thinking about everything they have to be thankful for. Although it’s nice to count your blessings on Thanksgiving, I encourage you to cultivate Gratitude throughout the year, as it will have amazing benefits on your quality of life.
In fact, Gratitude is probably one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating Gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are huge.
Research reveals gratitude can have, amongst others, these 6 major benefits:
1. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people. Moreover, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health, by exercising more often and making better food choices.
2. Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. By increasing the “good vibes”, Gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
3. Gratitude improves self-esteem. 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.
4. Gratitude increases mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. Recognizing all you have to be thankful for – even during the worst times of your life – fosters resilience.
5. Grateful people sleep better. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to studies. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
6. Gratitude improves your relationships. Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends. Thanking your friends makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. People who rank higher on gratitude scales are less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experience more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.
We can all cultivate Gratitude and improve our satisfaction with life. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have – rather than complain about all the things you think you deserve. If you’d like to incorporate it in your yoga practice, use this video as a guide.