Is Gratitude the Secret to Happiness?
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that happiness is as elusive as it is desirable, but research shows that contentment can often be found by turning our gaze away from what we don't have, and towards what we do. We're here to explore why gratitude could be the secret to happiness.
If you can't be bothered with the gym today - don't worry. All you have to do is practise a little gratitude. A study in 2012 found that people who practised gratitude were less like to experience aches and pains, as well as reporting that they felt healthier than other people. Not only this, but they were more likely to exercise often and pay more visits to the doctor, which ultimately impacts longevity.
It's virtually impossible to be negative when you think about how you have it good, so it's a no-brainer that gratitude is a great way to boost our happiness and psychological wellbeing. Studies have shown that practising gratitude reduces emotions such as envy, frustration, and anger, and increases feelings of satisfaction and contentment.
Writing may or may not be your thing, but keeping a log of all the good things that happened to you before bed, whether it was a smile from a stranger or a good day at work, has been shown to improve sleep quality.
When we feel good, we perform well, and practising gratitude can change our self-image for the better. A study found that athletes who practised gratitude had a bump in their self-esteem, which was a key component in their performance. Moreover, gratitude reduces the need to compare ourselves to others; social comparison is an easy way to knock our self-esteem, but practising gratitude does just the opposite.
We hope we've convinced you on the benefits of practising gratitude; if you have personal tips and techniques on the best way to turn gratitude into a habit, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes From Readers
Lucy: "I find that as well as having a gratitude practice for what I do have in my life, I also find it life changing to also then be grateful for what I want in my life, (but don’t yet have) as though it has already happened. If I am grateful for something before it has happened, the universe hears that and it will then manifest itself."