William Arthur Ward said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
One of our favorite things about this whole holiday season is the atmosphere and aura that surrounds people. There is an ambiance of cheer, love, and appreciation that is a little more potent November through January.
We know it seems counterintuitive to find the personal gain in gratitude, but the fact of the matter is, being grateful is better for YOU than anyone else! In 2015 PsychologyToday posted an article outlining a few scientifically proven benefits of gratitude. Here are a few that we found particularly useful along with some of our own insights and helpful tips to practice.
1. Gratitude opens you up to more relationships.
Something as simple as saying “thank you” to the kind stranger that picks up your dropped keys for you is enough to show that u have good manners and even a kind demeanor. Studies show that thanking a new acquaintance makes them far more likely to pursue a continued relationship.
Honestly, I feel like we can all attest to this from the other side. I am far more likely to see someone in a positive light when they thank me for a simple act of kindness. It sounds like a silly thought, but personally, I feel like it might just be ingrained in us!
2. Gratitude improves psychological health and physical health.
Being grateful makes no room for envy or resentment. It is incredible the amount of negative and toxic emotions that are removed from your life and mindset when you are practicing gratitude.
The research tied to gratitude and stress relief is never-ending. Along with all of the psychological benefits, there is science to show that physically gratitude can work wonders. A 2012 study showed that grateful people report feeling healthier and in having fewer aches and pains. This is attributed to the idea that grateful people typically take better care of their health.
They attend more regular check ups and exercise more frequently. We all know that the mind is powerful and that removing anything toxic is beneficial to overall well being. Implementing gratitude is like the mental version of trying to eat baby carrots instead of chips.Replace the bad with something good and form new habits to better your life.
3. Gratitude decreases aggression and increases empathy.
A study performed by the University of Kentucky showed that “Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kindly.” Members of the study who ranked higher on gratitude scales were not as likely to retaliate or lash out about negative feedback, even when the chance was provided.
Rather than have a negative reaction, those who had shown more gratitude exhibited sign of empathy towards those around them. Behind the chair, driving the kiddos to school, or dealing with another human at a store having increased empathy just makes it easier. When we are in a mindset to give people the benefit of the doubt rather than thinking that those around us are out to make life harder, miraculously, things seem less shitty.
4. Gratitude helps people sleep better.
According to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being participants who spent 15 minutes writing in a gratitude journal each night slept better and longer than they previously had as well as better than those who had not been asked to practice gratitude.
Let’s get real, the days are busy and when night comes we are ready to knock out, but why not spend a mere 15 minutes reflecting on all the good. I think the added benefits of a better night’s rest should be incentive enough!
5. Gratitude improves your self esteem.
There are multiple studies that lend to this idea, but the fact of the matter is, if you are grateful for what you have you are less likely to get down on yourself for how you look, the amount of money you make, or the roof over your head. We live in a society saturated with images of people showing their latest big purchase or their new sponsored bag, home decor, or outfit.
If we hone our energy and feeling blessed to have what we do then we will find a controlled sense of self esteem. No longer will our self speak be based on those around us!
Take this next month to kickstart an attitude of gratitude! Set weekly goals to build up a greater lifestyle practice of being grateful. Write three things each night you are thankful for, try to thank your local barista when they give you your coffee (even if they are doing so hastily with a look of dread), or just thank your loved ones for being in your life. Start small and you will notice the changes!
For more benefits and tips on how to actually implement gratitude in your life check out our previous post: “How to Practice Gratitude and Why You Should”.
Your Hair Love Tribe
PS: Be on the look out for out upcoming Podcast Episode on Gratitude by the Founder of Hair Love Retreat…Elizabeth Faye! Btw we are GRATEFUL AS HELL for all of you!
Love what you just read? Add your info below and we’ll send you a love note every time there is a new blog post!