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Gratitude Has Social Benefits

Gratitude Has Social Benefits

More Positive Relationships

Negativity can destroy relationships, both social and romantic. Nobody wants to spend time with someone who only sees the bad in life.

Let’s just take a closer look at marriages. Once both partners begin to take each other for granted and stop appreciating the things they do for each other, their relationship begins to suffer. As you become less appreciative, you also become more critical. You need only consider the Losada ratio to see how this can have a negative impact on your love life.

The Losada ratio divides the number of positive expressions of appreciation, encouragement and support given by one partner to the other by the number of negative ones including cynicism, sarcasm or disapproval. If the ratio is under 0.9, this means that there were 11percent less positive expressions than negative ones. Once this happens, relationships suffer a serious strain.

Conversely, relationships that are satisfying and long-lasting are those that have a positive ratio that stands at 5.1 or over. It isn’t too surprising that marriages become stronger the more both partners express their thanks and appreciation to each other. This is one of the reasons why practicing gratitude more often can be extremely helpful to your personal relationships.

When you’re more grateful for the little things in life, you naturally become a more kind, helpful, compassionate and understanding person. Those who practice thankfulness regularly report that they have a closer connection with others around them, were much more willing to help other people and, most importantly, were also viewed as being helpful and considerate by those within their social networks....

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Gratitude’s Physical Effects

Gratitude’s Physical Effects

We’ve already looked at how gratitude can impact on your psychological well-being. However, it can also have a positive effect on your physical health. Here, we take a closer look at how implementing gratitude practice in your everyday routine can make you feel better, get well sooner, and maybe even live longer.

Improved Sleep

Most of us know that sleep is very important to maintain good health. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body comes under excess strain. This increases the chances of your developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and other medical problems. However, it can be hard to get to sleep. Many people suffer from insomnia. Yet, studies have shown that practicing gratitude more often is an easy way of improving the quality of your sleep.

A study carried out into patients suffering from chronic pain and heart failure reported sleeping better when they practiced gratitude, even despite their problems, when compared with patients who were less grateful. Those who were most grateful reported being able to fall asleep more rapidly, sleep for longer, have a better quality of sleep and stay awake more easily in the daytime.

The evidence from these studies showed that gratitude helps to improve sleep because it causes people to have fewer negative thoughts at bedtime and more positive ones. It stands to reason that if you’re worried and anxious at night, your body’s stress level increases and this keeps you awake. On the other hand, if you’re focusing on things you’re thankful for, the relaxation response in the body is triggered and you can drift off more easily....

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What Are The Psychological Benefits Of Gratitude?

What Are The Psychological Benefits Of Gratitude?

It’s clear from studies and research that feeling gratitude in your life brings a host of psychological benefits. Simply by feeling more thankful for the things that you have and experience every day, you can improve your mental state and enjoy better psychological well-being.

Reducing Depression

Around a quarter of the population will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime. Depression is one of the most common and it can be seriously debilitating.

Getting professional help to treat depression can be costly and difficult. Finding the right treatment can be difficult, and often, medication doesn’t work. However, gratitude is a simple skill to practice. It has been proven to reduce depression. It is also less time-consuming, more affordable and more convenient than many traditional therapies.

Depression is a condition that has a neurochemical and psychological base. Both of these can be helped by gratitude. Gratitude causes your attention to be refocused from problems to their solutions, impacting the neurotransmitters like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin that help you to feel good. When those chemicals surge in your brain, you feel more motivated and less apathetic, helping to reduce your depression.  

Gratitude reduces stress hormones and helps to manage the functions of the autonomic nervous system, thus reducing the unwanted symptoms associated with depression. Feelings of thankfulness, at a neurochemical level, are linked to increased neural modulation in the part of the brain (the prefrontal cortex) that is responsible for handling negative emotions such as shame and guilt. As a result, depression sufferers become more positive and happier as their brain learns how to cope with negativity in a different way....

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Gratitude practice-an overview

Gratitude Practice – An Overview

So, now you know roughly what gratitude means, but how does it look when put into practice? In this chapter, we look at how thankfulness can manifest itself in your life.

Why Introduce Gratitude Practice Into Your Life?

Gratitude has strong links to life satisfaction and good mental health. People who are grateful experience more enthusiasm, love and joy. They also have better protection from emotions that have a destructive impact like bitterness, greed and envy.

Not only that, but gratitude can reduce your lifetime risk of developing a substance abuse disorder, anxiety or depression. It can also help those suffering from these issues and many other conditions find healing and closure. Being thankful helps you to understand that there is goodness out there, even if you’re suffering or uncertain.

Gratitude isn’t just an uplifting and warm feeling; it can also benefit your body. People who introduce gratitude practice into their lives cope more effectively with stress, enjoy better physical health and recover more rapidly from illnesses.

Even better, gratitude extends beyond you. When you experience gratitude, it reaches past you into your wider social circle. Gratitude has the power of inspiring others to act more kindly, and it can strengthen your bond with others around you. People who are grateful are more likely to be viewed as trustworthy, optimistic, outgoing and helpful. These are valuable characteristics that draw others to you and help you forge positive and strong relationships...

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What does gratitude really mean?

What Does Gratitude Really Mean?

When you think of the word “gratitude” what comes to mind? Do you automatically think of saying thank you when someone holds the door open for you? Or feeling grateful when somebody gives you a birthday gift? While those thinks do come under the gratitude umbrella, this isn’t the kind of gratitude we’re talking about in this book.

Here, we’re talking about the transformative type of thankfulness that can totally change your life and give you a whole new perspective on the world.

Gratitude – Just A Fashionable Word?

Even if you give the idea of gratitude a little more thought than the average person, you may still fail to grasp the importance of being thankful. We hear a lot these days about being grateful – so much so, that gratitude is starting to become nothing more than just a buzz word with little or no meaning. If the whole idea of being grateful has lost all relevance to you, it’s time to look again, go back to the drawing board, and redefine the meaning of the word....

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