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Scientific Proofs that Gratitude is Good for You

Thanksgiving is not the only time of the year you should reflect and take stock of all the things you should be thankful for.

Amazingly, there are scientific proofs that gratitude can be very good for you.

Here are various ways you can effectively incorporate this scientifically-endorsed practice into your life.

Write Them Down

Scientists held an experiment where they asked a group of people to write down the things they are grateful for weekly.

Another group is asked to record neutral life events or things that worry them.

The group that kept a gratitude journal reported fewer physical symptoms, exercised more, were more optimistic, and felt better about their lives as a whole compared to the other group who focused on negativities. 

Start Today: Write down all the great things that have happened to you at the end of each day. You can use a digital log or a notebook.

Do Random Acts of Gratitude

Scientists that are experimenting with positive psychology discovered that a one-time act of deliberate and thoughtful gratitude produced an instant 10% increase in happiness and 35% reduction in depressive symptoms.

The happy effect however disappeared in 3 to 6 months.

This shows that you can benefit more if you do a gratitude act as often as you possibly can.

Start Today: Even the smallest act of gratitude counts. A gratitude act can be as small as writing a thank you note to those who have inspired and have done something for you.

Start a Gratitude Practice Early

Researcher and psychologist Jeffrey Froh implemented and created a gratitude curriculum for kids aged 8 to 11. 

The youngsters who participated showed an increase in positive emotions, appreciation, and grateful thinking compared to others who did not partake in the activity.

Start Today: Introduce the concept of gratitude to your children. At your next meal when kids are present, allow them to verbalise what they are thankful for. Chances are the answers will move you.

Receive Gratitude

There’s no denying being grateful can be good for you. 

However, did you know that being on the receiving end of gratitude can also do wonders for you?

This is especially beneficial in romantic relationships.

A recent study found out that after receiving gratitude, participants noticed that their partner has become more responsive to the needs of the other party.

Amazingly, the long-term effect of gratitude is still evident even six to nine months later!

Start Today: While mornings can be hectic, ensure you make it a point to tell your significant other how thankful you are for them and how much they mean to you.

Thank Your Colleagues

When was the last time you said thank you to someone you worked with?

A research done by psychologists Francesca Gino and Adam Grant found out that a simple thank you can go a really long way.

This is especially true if you are in the supervisory position.

Expressing thank you to your subordinates and thanking them for a job well done can give them a true sense of confidence and self-worth.

The study also revealed that gratitude can have a ripple effect and lead to an increase in trust between colleagues.

Start Today: Acknowledge a colleague for their professional contributions. A simple but genuine thank you can go a long way.

Over to You

The importance of gratitude cannot be overstated. If you haven’t yet, it would do you a world of good to start integrating a gratitude practice in your daily life today.

Photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha on Unsplash