10 May How Gratitude Can Enhance Your Happiness & Wellbeing
It’s so easy to see the glass as half empty, complaining about never having enough, that 2% of battery life and don’t even get us started on traffic… I’d be on time if it wasn’t for traffic, I swear!
What about that feeling of never having enough… not enough money for all those tumeric lattes and brunch dates, not enough time for all those epic activities, not flexible enough to nail that yoga pose, and the list goes on.
So how do you ditch the scarcity mindset? It’s actually pretty simple… an attitude of gratitude!
Practising gratitude can enhance your happiness and wellbeing. While it sounds cliche, it’s actually true. According to a growing body of research, if you record what you are thankful for your physical and mental health could skyrocket. Who doesn’t want to be happier?!
Check out how an attitude of gratitude could turn that frown upside down:
1. Boosts Happiness & Reduces Depression
In a 2005 study, positive psychology pioneer Martin E. P. Seligman and co-authors asked participants to write and deliver a letter. Most noteworthy, the letter of gratitude had to be delivered in person to someone who had been especially kind to them. But had never been properly thanked.
The researchers followed the participants for six months. While periodically measuring symptoms of both depression and happiness. The “gratitude visit,” as they called it, caused large positive changes for one month. Boosting happiness and decreasing depressive symptoms.
Might be time to put pen to paper or shoot out a little thank you text! 30-day challenge anyone?!
2. Can Improve Heart Health
Secondly, feeling grateful for the positive things in your life could help protect your ticker. According to a recent study published by the American Psychological Association in the journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice.
The research found that patients with heart failure who kept gratitude journals for eight weeks showed a major reduction in heart disease. Also, the patients were associated with better mood, better sleep, and less fatigue because of journaling. Check out how you can journal stress away here.
Now that’s impressive, an attitude of gratitude could help you live a healthier life.
3. Makes You More Optimistic & More Likely To Help Others
Finally, in a series of 2003 studies, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more. They reported fewer symptoms of physical illness, felt better about their lives as a whole, and also were more optimistic about the upcoming week.
In a second study, those who recorded what they were grateful for on a daily basis were also more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or offered emotional support to another person.
Looking to offer a little extra support? Why not check out the Black Dog Institution, helping to raise awareness and funds for mental health. By supporting the Black Dog Institution you’ll all be supporting vital education programs provided to schools, communities and medical professionals.
Why it’s important to get involved:
- 1 in 5 Australians experience a mental illness each year
- 65% of those do not seek help
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15-45
Still not sure about this whole gratitude thing? Why not check out this short Yogaholics video on how the power of gratitude can be an extremely powerful tool to shift your headspace and give perspective!
Written by Jennifer D’Angelo Friedman from Yoga Journal