By Emma Seppalla on Mon, Feb 10, 2020
But there’s one simple exercise that boosts all of these things simultaneously and that most of us simply don’t know. What’s that? Being thankful. Sound too simplistic to you? Not so fast! Check out 13 of its stellar science-backed benefits:
Benefits of Gratitude:
2 – Brings you Happiness that Lasts. In fact, an attitude of gratitude can not only help you increase positive emotion, but also sustain it. Heck, ice cream can make us happy in the moment but gratitude leads to long-term happiness (ref)
3 – Protects you from Stress & Negativity. Gratitude is associated with decreased anxiety and depression and increased social support (ref)
5 – Makes you more socially intelligent (ref)
7 – Makes you Sexier. Gratitude improves romantic relationships by making people feel more satisfied in their relationships and connected to their partner (ref)
8 – It Even Improves Sleep Quality & Duration– in part because you have more grateful/happy thoughts before you go to sleep (ref). Count blessings, not sheep?
10 – Benefits you at all ages from adolescence to adulthood (ref)
13 – Makes the World a Better Place. When you express your gratitude to someone, that person will go on to be kinder to others (ref)
Don’t feel grateful? No worries! It’s accessible to anyone. Whether we’re sick or well, old or young, employed or unemployed, if our heart is beating, air is flowing in our lungs, and we have had a meal today, we have something to be grateful for. “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a Rather Large Amount of Gratitude” (A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh).
Here are some simple ways to strengthen your thanking muscle:
1) A powerful way scientists have found can increase your well-being is simply making daily gratitude lists. Write down 5 things you feel grateful for every day. This simple (and short!) act can significantly increase your happiness.
2) Another way you can boost your gratitude is by spending a few minutes out of your day devoted to gratitude. Below is a simple breathing exercises. While you're taking deep breaths, think about what you're grateful for.