ePaper

Monday, January 22, 2018

Surprising health benefits of gratitude

  • Print

Now is the season to think about what makes you most thankful, but research supports making it a year-round habit. Many studies have found there are benefits of gratitude - both mental and physical - and all it takes to enjoy them is a little bit of introspection. Here are the surprising benefits of practicing gratitude -



Gratitude can make you more patient: Research from Northeastern University has found that people who felt grateful for little, everyday things were more patient and better able to make sensible decisions, compared to those who didn't feel very gracious on a day-to-day basis. When 105 undergraduate students were asked to choose between receiving a small amount of money immediately or a larger sum at some point in the future, for example, the students who had shown more gratitude in earlier experiments were able to hold out for more cash.



Gratitude can help ease depression: Thompson, the cognitive scientist, says experiments have shown that people whole partake in the "three good things" exercise - which, as the name suggests, prompts people to think of three good moments or things that happened that day - see considerable improvements in depression and overall happiness, sometimes in as little as a couple weeks. "If there were a drug that did that, whoever patented that drug would be rich," Thompson says. "Gratitude is very powerful."

Gratitude gives you happiness that lasts: Lots of things, from a compliment to a sugary treat, can bring little bursts of happiness. But instant gratification also goes away quickly, Seppälä explains, which leaves you craving more. "Gratitude is something that leads to much more sustainable forms of happiness, because it's not based in that immediate gratification; it's a frame of mind," she says. If you regularly take time to express gratitude and thankfulness, you're likely to see results.

Gratitude might improve your relationship: According to a study in the Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology, feeling grateful toward your partner - and vice versa - can improve numerous aspects of your relationship, including feelings of connectedness and overall satisfaction as a couple. "Having a partner that's grateful for you or you being grateful for the other" can both help your love life, says Emma Seppälä, a happiness researcher at Stanford and Yale Universities and author of The Happiness Track. (Seppälä wasn't involved with the research.)

Gratitude improves self-care: In a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, researchers asked people to rate their levels of gratitude, physical health and psychological health, as well as how likely they were to do wellbeing-boosting behaviors like exercise, healthy eating and going to the doctor. They found positive correlations between gratitude and each of these behaviors, suggesting that giving thanks helps people appreciate and care for their bodies.

Gratitude can help you sleep: "Count blessings, not sheep," Seppälä says. Research in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research has found that feeling grateful helps people sleep better and longer. That's likely because "you have more positive thoughts before you go to sleep," says Seppälä (who wasn't involved in the study), which may soothe the nervous system. If you're going to make a daily gratitude list, Seppälä recommends writing it before bed.


The writer is a journalist.The write-up has also appeared onwww.time.com

More News For this Category

Four queries to make 2018 your best year yet

| By
The new year is packed with possibilities, including a fresh, new start. Still, many people scrap making resolutions all together, thinking they never work. This year, set aside
Four queries to make 2018 your best year yet

Tips to stay away from jealousy

| By
In common parlance, the term "jealous" often gets used in place of "envious," as in "Your company sent you to Paris again-I'm so jealous!" But in
Tips to stay away from jealousy

Ways to declutter your mind

| By and John Addison
In our world today, it's easier than ever to be unfocused. So many people are attracted to their distractions, staring at their phones and allowing crazy stuff to
 Ways to  declutter your mind

A portrait of a modern poet

| By
While reminiscing about a late professor, Professor Dr. Fakrul Alam would often quote this famous line from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: "And gladly would he learn and gladly teach".
A portrait of a modern poet

Ways to make teenagers self-reliant

| By and Debolina Raja
Is your child soon ready to hit the 'teen' phase? Are you worrying how to maintain a balance between your teen's need for independence and your concerns about
Ways to make teenagers self-reliant

Instead of complaining, remember these things

| By
A faint but discernible dividing line separates achievers from dreamers. What makes the difference? Attitude. Achievers have a can-do attitude that sets them apart from mere dreamers. Achievers

5 toxic personalities successful people avoid

| By
One of my favorite quotes is by Jim Rohn: "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." These words opened my eyes
5 toxic personalities successful people avoid

Simple ways to find joy in your everyday life

| By
Stop waiting to be happy: Imagine life is like Grand Central Station, where happy times arrive around the clock. Chances are the opportunity to be happy has already
Simple ways to find joy in your everyday life

Principles for setting good goals

| By
Goals! I just love goals! One of the most famous lines in theater history was written by Shakespeare and, if I recall correctly, is about goals: "The goal's
Principles for setting good goals

19-year-old builds the world's fastest production drone

| By and Benjamin Steele
At only 19 years old, George Matus has revolutionized the unmanned flight industry with what he calls "the Swiss Army Knife of drones." Teal, Matus' Utah-based company that closed
19-year-old builds the world's  fastest production drone

© 2018 The Asian Age