You might be thinking that saying “thank you” is just about social etiquette. But expressing gratitude is actually the backbone of a happier, healthier life. No, really!
Studies on gratitude have exploded in recent years. Everyone from new age beatniks to seasoned scientists have recognized the mental and physical manifestations that accompany a thankful mindset. While we didn’t set out to confirm some sort of happiness hypotheses, the more we learn about the benefits of living a thank-filled life, the more we here at ThankView believe in being a part of this positive change.
Here are 5 positive benefits of bringing more gratitude into your life. You can thank us (and your friends and family) later!
Gratitude Makes Us Happier
Happiness is an elusive concept but gratitude fosters acceptance and satisfaction, two of the key ingredients to a “happy” life. And thankfully, we can improve our positive outlook in less than 5 minutes a dat. Studies show that writing in a gratitude journal – a daily log of things for which you’re grateful – can increase your long-term well-being by over 10%. In terms that make more sense, it basically has the same impact as doubling your salary.
Focusing on what you’re grateful for makes you think about it more often, which in turn makes you acutely more attuned to recognize the good things in life. You create a positive feedback loop, effectively finding silver linings in everyday situations.
Gratitude Makes People Like Us
Gratitude generates social capital, which we know as support from friends and your social perception in other people’s eyes. In two studies with 243 total participants, those who were 10% more grateful than average had 17.5% more social capital.
Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends, deepen our existing relationships, and improve our marriages.
Gratitude Makes Us Less Self-Centered & More Confident
We’re not suggesting that you’re all about #1. But in the age of instagram and instant feedback, we all fall victim to vanity. Focusing on others is fundamental to the concept of gratitude. In recognizing positives outside of yourself, you can experience a happiness that isn’t self reflective. In this regard, gratitude practice can be better than self-esteem therapy. Self-esteem therapy focuses the individual back on themselves: I’m smart, I look good, I can succeed, etc….
That can work, but it can also make us narcissistic or even back-fire and lower self-esteem.
Gratitude Helps You Live Longer
Being grateful leads you to become more optimistic. And optimism has been shown to increase our longevity. Further, self-acceptance flies in the face of stress, which we know reduces our longevity. So gratitude is basically a double whammy – Less stress & more happy = longer life!
Gratitude is Free
This is an aspect of this underutilized self-improvement behavior that itself is under-represented in many lists. Sure, ThankView has a cost to it – we’re a business, after all! – but practicing gratitude is as simple as taking a step back and observe the people, positives and opportunities in your life.
So start today. Smile, think about how lucky you are to have a life filled with friends and family and start down the road to a happier, healthier you!