The Importance of Gratitude


Did you know, gratitude is associated with the following benefits: better relationships, better sleep, greater physical health, mental health, empathy, self-esteem, mental strength and resilience. So, by simply practicing gratitude a little bit each day, you can improve your health and well-being and you can achieve these benefits. And it doesn’t take long at all!

Research indicates when we just spend a few minutes each day (5-10min) giving thanks for the things we have in life, like our families or loved ones, we can improve these areas of our life. Stanford Professor of Neurobiology Dr. Andrew Huberman describes the science behind gratitude on the Whoop podcast. He says that a little bit of stillness combined with gratitude each day creates a neurochemical signature in the brain that involves the release of dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. These are powerful, feel good chemicals involved in health benefiting behaviors and emotions. 

Simple Gratitude Practice

Writing down what we are grateful for is the place to begin. Writing has important health benefits, as described in my blog post about journaling. And we can be grateful for the things we want to bring into our life as well. It can be as simple as giving thanks for the groceries, or a new shirt. Or giving thanks for being alive and free from sickness. Perhaps giving thanks for a new promotion you are working on, or a new skill you are developing. Or a goal you are working on achieving. Honestly, it can be anything! But the most powerful displays of gratitude are directed towards people and relationships. 

So start there. Take a few minutes each day to practice gratitude. Either begin or end your day (or both) with three people or things you are grateful for. Immerse yourself in these things and a grateful state of mind and improve your health and well-being!

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