What Are The Benefits Of Gratitude? A Look At The Science.
We have talked about gratitude on here before. It’s important to our organization and as individuals because we aim to create a culture of gratitude inside and outside our clubs. But why? Why are kindness, gratitude, and self-care so dang important to us? Well, we are going to dive into the benefits of gratitude today to find that out!
What Does Gratitude Mean?
We know what you’re thinking, “Doesn’t gratitude mean saying thank you when someone does something nice for you? How is that beneficial?” In short, that is gratitude—but just a piece of it. Roger Emmons, one of the world’s leading researchers into the science of gratitude, says that gratitude can be broken down into two parts. In short: affirming that there are good things and recognizing that the sources of goodness exist outside of ourselves. The second part of this is especially beautiful because it asks us to acknowledge the support we have from others. In this way, by taking actionable steps to show gratefulness for others and the good that exists, we can cultivate an attitude of gratitude. But, besides sounding mushy all of the time, what are the benefits?
Benefits Of Gratitude
1 | It Makes Us Happier
Yep! There’s research to back this claim up, too. When you pay attention to the good and beautiful things around you, your natural disposition will be positive. One study showed that subjects who were asked to write down something they were grateful for each day saw substantial mental health benefits throughout the study. Another series of studies show a correlation between gratitude and happiness. Yep, grateful individuals seem to be happier and more well-adjusted. It’s science!
2 | Helps With Relationships
While it may seem like an individual daily gratitude routine might have little to nothing to do with the people around you—it does. If you think about someone you admire, they probably have a cheerful attitude. It’s an attractive quality. We want to be around people who cheer us on, lift us up, and spread light. Studies have shown that gratitude helps us forgive, connect, give more, and even resolve arguments and conflicts better.
3 | Makes Us Healthier
One thing that came as a surprise to us in our studies is how gratitude can make us physically healthier. We knew the impact it had on the people around us and our mental health, but the physical aspect was compelling (to say the least). One of the reports we read outlined more exercise, less pain, and fewer health complaints overall. That means better sleep, fewer stomach issues, colds, and more! The trick is, you have to practice gratitude for a longer period. No, you probably won’t reap these benefits after a day or even a week, but give us 90 days of a gratitude practice, and you might just feel better.
4 | Increases Self-Esteem
In a world of constant comparison, it can be hard to feel good about ourselves. At some level, most of us struggle with our self-esteem. One reason why gratitude helps is that folks who practice are naturally practicing looking for the good. That means when something good happens, you recognize it and accept that the good was meant for you to enjoy, and not that you don’t deserve it or aren’t good enough.
5 | Enhanced Mental Health
Your mind is so important. It can be difficult to imagine being grateful if you are suffering from anxiety, depression, or simply feeling ‘off.’ Still, some studies have shown that practicing gratitude along with talking to a mental health professional is one of the most impactful treatments for mental health ailments.
A compelling study on students took a look at about 350 students for six weeks. They gave these students gratitude courses, and the experimental group also received access to an app where they could show gratitude to their classmates and teachers at their leisure. At the end of the study, researchers found “reported increased positive emotions, decreased anxiety and negative emotions, and greater satisfaction with both their friendships and their lives overall.” Now, if that’s not a convincing reason to add this to your wellness routine, we don’t know what is!
6 | Better Sleep
This benefit deserves a special call-out because sleep impacts more than just our energy levels (though that is important). It affects our skin, mental health, physical health, hormones, brain activity, and more! It turns out, practicing gratitude can help. In one study, grateful people were sleeping longer, staying awake throughout the day, and experiencing a better sleep quality overall. Researchers found evidence that this is due to practicing positive thoughts rather than negative ones before bedtime.
We think gratitude is important. And, since we practice what preach, we want to end with this thought:
We are grateful for you—Chuze Family—for being a part of our journey, helping us to spread kindness, and taking the time to read this with us.
Our teams are in our clubs to greet you with a smile and welcome you to your “home” gym at all of our locations. You can also practice gratitude, self-care, kindness, fitness, and more with us on our virtual fitness platform iChuze Fitness—try it today with a free seven-day pass. We can’t wait to learn more about you.
With overwhelming gratitude.