Thanksgiving is a time that we sit down with our families and recognize what we are grateful for, and of course eat a good meal. What you probably didn’t know is how being appreciative and grateful actually improves our health and our quality of life. Research has shown that gratitude has multiple health benefits from, improved immune systems, feelings of connectedness, and even higher team morale.
Here are some of the physical and mental health benefits of being grateful. Share with us why you are grateful, it might improve your health!
Boosts Teenage Mental Health
According to the American Psychological Association, grateful teens are happier. Researchers found that teenagers that are grateful have a more positive outlook on life, are more well-behaved at school and were more hopeful than their less-grateful peers. Lead author Giacomo Bono, PhD, psychology professor at California State University said “Gratitude played an important role in many areas of positive mental health of the teens in our study, increases in gratitude over a four-year period were significantly related to improvements in life satisfaction, happiness, positive attitudes and hope.”
Improves Your Physical Health
According to a 2012 study in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people experience less aches and pains and report feeling healthier than others. According to the study, grateful people are more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to have regular checkups with their doctors.
Improves Your Immune System
Gratitude is linked to optimism which in turn is linked to better immune health. For example, the University of Utah had a study that reported that stressed out law student who were optimistic had more immune-boosting blood cells than those who were pessimistic according to WebMD.
Boosts Your Well-Being
Research suggests that being mindful of all the things you have to be grateful for can boost your well-being. In a series of experiments detailed in a 2003 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, daily exercises of listing all the things you have to be thankful for are linked with having a brighter outlook on life. “There do appear to exist benefits to regularly focusing on one’s blessings. The advantages are most pronounced when compared with a focus on hassles or complaints, yet are still apparent in comparison with simply reflecting the major events in one’s life, on ways in which one believes one is better off than comparison with others, or with a control group.” Researches stated in the study.
Improves Your Sleeping
According to a 2011 study published in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, writing down what you are thankful for can improve your quality of sleep. Researchers found that people who write down for 15 minutes what they are grateful for in a journal before bedtime, fell asleep faster and and stayed asleep longer.
Boosts Team Morale
A 2008 study published in the journal Social Indicators Research of high-schoolers, research showed that athletes are less likely to burn out and more likely to experience team satisfaction when they are grateful.
Have you ever noticed a difference in your quality of life when you were grateful vs. not? We want you to share with us your own personal benefits of gratitude. Share in the comments below.