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While a lot of people may associate an attitude of gratitude with some sort of religious belief, expressing gratitude in our life is a lot bigger than that. In fact, from looking into it, you’ll notice it can drastically change your life if you are looking for better health, more productivity, deeper relationships or generally more happiness.
On a social level, if we are practicing gratitude, we are generating social capital. This is key because gratitude can make us nicer, more trustworthy, social, and more appreciative people. Because we make others feel good people will want to be around us more which helps us in making more friends and creating deeper relationships.
Some people who practice gratitude keep a gratitude journal and write in it for 5 minutes every day. They talk about what they are grateful for and that’s it. It’s a simple tactic, however, multiple studies have shown that gratitude is correlated to our vitality and energy. In fact Emmons – the author of Gratitude Works! – did a study and found that people who did this activity saw boosts in body function and energy
Not only does gratitude help us in our social life but it also helps us to be more optimistic as well. There is a huge connection between gratitude and optimism. In turn being optimistic makes us happier and there have been many studies over the years that showed the power of a smile or how being happy extends your lifespan by a few years.
Part of that reason may be because gratitude also reduces materialism as well. How this is possible is because making a gratitude list prompts us to be grateful for what we have right now. This means we’ll be developing a deeper appreciation for the things that are in our lives rather than the things we don’t have in our lives. While there is nothing wrong with wanting more in life, people who freely consume in materialism are people who live to consume as opposed to appreciating the things they already have. This can have some serious cases where people who are materialistic may want to look rich and go into massive debt just so they can look the part.
Gratitude also helps out our health in many ways as well. We mentioned above it can help in overall body function, however, it can also improve your sleep quality as well as expressing gratitude at night reduces the time needed to fall asleep and can even help with insomnia. Gratitude also has some other things it can do to your body such as boost your physiological functioning. While that boost isn’t going to cure cancer, it can help in speeding up recovery from medical procedures, helps you to cope with the management of cancers and HIV as well as boosting your immune system functioning.
And lastly, gratitude can help us in furthering our career in various ways too. As mentioned above, expressing gratitude can make you into a more likable individual. While this can deepen relationships, it can also help you in making connections as well. This can do wonders for your job as you can find mentors, benefactors, and proteges a lot easier because you want to help people. Not to mention you’d be far more approachable.
All of these benefits, when practiced over time can do a world of good if you let them. As a result, the connections and the things that’ll change in your life for the better can change your life for the better.