Health Benefits of Gratitude



This time of year, our thoughts turn to spending time with family and friends, celebrating the holidays and feelings of gratitude. Did you know you can continue that feeling all year long?

Our favorite life and leadership coach, Barb Churchill is here today to share the benefits of having a regular gratitude practice and how it can actually improve your health.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

Here is some very interesting information on the benefits of gratitude:

  • Increases sleep quality
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Helps prevent overeating
  • Motivates you to exercise more
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Improves pain tolerance
  • Extends your lifespan

And that’s just the physical benefits. There are many mental, psychological, and spiritual benefits as well:

  • Boosts self-confidence
  • Improves patience
  • Reduces envy and jealousy
  • Improves resiliency
  • Makes you more optimistic
  • Reduces your materialistic desires
  • Makes you more forgiving
  • Helps with recovery and addition (I can attest to that)

And what about your emotional well-being? Well, listen to this:

  • Improves your mood
  • Helps manage grief
  • Improves relationships
  • Enhances your happiness

What if I told you that just 90 seconds a day could change the way you feel and the way you see the world. Would you be open to trying something different?

When your alarm goes off in the morning, instead of hitting the snooze a few times or hopping right out of bed to get a jump on the day, pause.

Pause. Take a long deep breath through your nose and a long exhale out your mouth. Then think of one thing or person that you are grateful for. Think of it and feel it – deeply in your body. Notice where that feeling is and what it feels like. Connect with that.

Then repeat that midday and again before you turn off the light to go to sleep.

Just 90 seconds a day. You can fit that in, right? All it takes is practice. Put a Post-It® note on your computer to remind yourself to do this three times a day. Set an alarm on your phone and name it Gratitude – and resist the urge to ignore it.

Keep track of how you feel and any changes in your attitude.

The people around you will definitely see the difference and so will you!

Resources: Your Next Phase Podcast

Episode 38: Why gratitude is important