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Wellbeing Wednesday | Gratitude

Wellbeing Wednesday | Gratitude

20 September 2023

WELLBEING WEDNESDAY | Benefits of practicing gratitude

Gratitude can boost your mood, so it's no surprise that it can also improve your overall mental health!

A little gratitude can do wonders for your mood. When you practice gratitude, you shift your thoughts away from negative emotions and uncomfortable sensations. Instead, you begin to focus on good things that you may have overlooked.

Approaching life with a more positive mindset can do more than just improve your mood.

It can have cascading benefits in other areas of your life, such as:

  • Better sleep: some research links increased gratitude with higher quality sleep and fewer sleep disturbances. This might be because expressing gratitude right before bed allows you to fall asleep with a more positive outlook.
  • Improved focus: gratitiude might make it easier for you to focus. If you begin to view the task in front of you — whether it’s schoolwork or job duties — in a more positive light, you spend less energy feeling stressed about it. You might even begin to view challenges, such as an upcoming exam, as opportunities rather than hurdles. This can improve your emotional resilience.
  • Higher self-esteem: viewing the world with a sense of gratitude can change the way you think about your own worth. Imagine that a friend treats you to lunch. As you express your appreciation, you also begin to realise that your friend is spending time and resources on you because they value you. You then internalise the thought that you’re important to others.
  • Increased patience: the results of 2016 research seemed to indicate that people who regularly express gratitude are more patient. So, if you want to increase self-control and reduce impulsiveness, try practicing gratitude. Other research shows a potential connection between gratitude and other virtues, such as humility and wisdom.
  • Social benefits: gratitude has the potential to enhance the quality of your relationships. Expressing your appreciation for a friend or family member shows them that you care and opens the door for more positive interactions in the future. For example, if you tell your friend that you appreciate them offering you a shoulder to lean on in tough times, your friend will recognise their importance and continue to be there for you. You may also feel compelled to reciprocate their acts of kindness.
  • Physical health benefits: gratitude can also come with plenty of physical benefits as well. For example, as your gratefulness reduces your stress and brings you closer to loved ones, you may see a decrease in your blood pressure and levels of inflammation. This can give way to better overall cardiovascular health.

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