How Practicing Gratitude Can Make a Difference in Your Health

Feeling thankful in the midst of a pandemic may sound like a tall order.

On a personal and global level, we’re all experiencing a significant amount of stress and fear.

But taking time each day for gratitude isn’t just possible. It’s beneficial to your health and well-being. Researchers who study gratitude have found that when people pause and feel thankful for the good things in their lives, it may impact everything from stress to sleep to their relationships with other people.

Just as we consider exercise and healthy eating an important part of taking care of ourselves, we should also add gratitude to our daily habits.

The things we’re thankful for don’t have to be monumental. We can feel gratitude for a warm house, for a delicious breakfast, for our pets, or for the beautiful plants growing outside our windows.

How does this work?

Gratitude helps reduce the negative effects daily stress can have on our bodies. One study had participants journal a list of the stressors in their lives and their general well-being each day. Only some of the participants were also asked to write down another list of things they felt grateful for that same day. The ones who practiced gratitude experienced better well-being.

You too can keep a gratitude journal or list. It doesn’t have to take more than a minute to sit down and find three things in your day that were good.

Sharing your gratitude with others can also have a positive impact on their lives. One study found that when a manager told their employees how much they appreciated their work, the employees were actually more productive. Showing people we’re thankful for them can improve our relationships with others.

To share some of these positive benefits with other people, write a letter of gratitude to someone in your life who has done something good for you or others. That could be as short as a sticky note to your child who unloaded the dishwasher. Or it could be a longer letter to a friend who has been there for you over the years.

The research on gratitude is relatively new, and not all studies have found direct links between health and giving thanks. But it’s a small act during your day that could reap benefits for you and the people around you.

Being thankful for the small things is also an important reminder that it doesn’t take a big event like a promotion or a vacation to bring happiness. Goodness is something we get to experience every day, and that’s just another thing to be thankful for.

To learn more about life and health insurance that works for your needs, contact a Sea Mountain Health insurance specialist.