Astra, Lifestyle

Science of Gratitude

The word “gratitude” is a popular buzz word especially in November with Thanksgiving around the corner. The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless, it’s no wonder why Thanksgiving scores so high among American holidays.

People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to native and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness and even have stronger immune systems.

The effects of gratitude last longer than you think. Think back to the joy you felt the last time a friend helped you with something, an increasing amount of evidence shows that giving thanks can also have a lasting effect on your mood.

A study at the University of Pennsylvania found that people who wrote and delivered a heartfelt thank-you letter actually felt happy for a full month after. By writing down positive things that happen to you and actively acknowledging those who have helped you, you become better at recognizing the good in your life, which naturally helps you feel more grateful and thankful more after.

The goal is to cultivate gratitude as a default feeling. There are four primary characteristics of grateful people and these are the ones that journaling and practice can help strengthen and invigorate.

People who experience the most gratitude tend to:

  • Feel a sense of abundance
  • Recognize and enjoy life’s small pleasures
  • Appreciate the contributions of others to their well-being
  • Acknowledge the importance of experiencing and expressing gratitude

Paying attention to life’s positives can train you to see more and more of them, which in turn will help you learn to be more grateful.

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