How Does Gratitude Benefit Well Being?


In searching for information on the ways that gratitude enhances well-being, I discovered a comprehensive and interesting article titled, The Benefits of Gratitude: 28 Questions Answered Thanks to Gratitude, The author, Courtney Ackerman, lists 5 domains affected positively by gratitude. I have devoted a paragraph to each. It becomes apparent that cultivating this attitude benefits not only the individual, but also expands to all  one comes into contact with.

Emotional Benefits:

If the mind is preoccupied with what to be grateful for, there is less room for negative thoughts, like, “poor pitiful me.”  In our acquisitive world of consumerism, we are led to believe that we need more to be satisfied, and once the novelty of the latest object of desire has faded, its replacement must be sought. But really? Thinking of that for which we should be grateful leads us to a surprising wealth of blessings; those taken for granted. Cultivating gratitude can help to reduce depression, isolation, envy, and even self-destructive tendencies. Research shows an increase in well being, resilience, self-esteem, optimism and happiness.

Social Benefits:

Who do you prefer to spend time with, Eyore, or someone with a sunny disposition? Emotional balance forms a positive basis for friendships, connectedness, mutual emotional support, appreciation for others and reduced stress.

Personality Benefits:

Research on the benefits of gratitude journaling show that the effects upon the writers include; reduced self-centeredness, a greater ability to share, increased optimism, generosity, happiness, reduced materialism as thoughts of needing or wanting more subside. Focus on gratitude tends to result in greater openness, positivity and spirituality.

Career Benefits:

Journalers noted that in the workplace, they became better managers, had more patience, gave more praise, motivation. They also noted making fewer decisions under pressure, resulting in better decisions for the long term. Stress was reduced, as was employee satisfaction increased. Lower turnover was attributed to employees experiencing a sense of belonging, worth and value. 

Health Benefits:

With a focus on  gratitude, individuals experienced lowered blood pressure, less depression, better sleep quality, motivation to other healthy activities including exercise, an increased sense of efficacy and greater ability to face challenges such as recovery from substance abuse or other ailments.

It is a battle to unclutter busy schedules packed with tasks and responsibilities. But with the development of a focus gratitude, we may equip ourselves at very little cost, to elevate the quality of our own lives and the lives of our loved ones and friends. Here is a challenge; if you are a journaler or even if not, jot down a paragraph per day that relates to your gratitude. After one month’s time, decide for yourself if it benefits you in the domains above.  

To view the original article, please search: https://positive benefits of gratitude:28 questions answered thanks to gratitude research

This article also cites research and assessments for gratitude.