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5 reasons to start practising gratitude

It is scientifically proven that if you feel and express gratitude, the brain releases Serotonin and Dopamine, which boost your mood and make you happy. However, in reality, most of us find it tough to appreciate the good because disappointments and regrets take up most of our attention. You dwell more on failures and forget to be thankful for the good things happening to you. Curious to know more about why you should practice gratitude? Read further. 

Gratitude boosts optimism level

Gratitude strengthens your hope in positive, desirable, and favourable outcomes. As a part of a 10-week experiment conducted by Robert A. Emmons and Dr Michael E. McCullough, one group of participants wrote about things they were grateful for. Another group wrote about things that irritated them. This experiment’s outcome is that participants who practised gratitude were more optimistic compared to the other group. This means if you face problems and setbacks in life, you will be able to tackle them effectively because you practice gratitude.

Gratitude sharpens problem-solving skills

As you practice gratitude, you learn to cope with stress healthily. Alex Wood, a psychologist, conducted a study and 236 undergraduate students participated in it. The results of the study show that grateful people deal with problems proactively compared to ungrateful people. Grateful people cope well because they perceive the world to be a better place. This motivates them to find their way through problems. 

Gratitude enhances the benefits of Social Support

Gratitude helps you to identify people who will support you. In a study, the participants were asked to complete a writing task. They wrote about gratitude or a random topic for 5 minutes. After the writing task, they completed a stressful task. Among the participants, some of them received social support. This experiment shows that people experienced low-stress levels if they wrote about gratitude and got help from others. Now you know that gratitude amplifies the benefits you get from social support. 

Gratitude regulates emotional reaction

Gratitude helps you to develop control over how you respond to adverse events. An experiment conducted in 2019 by Paul Boggio had 71 undergraduates participating in a writing exercise; the writing exercise was conducted twice a week for four weeks. The participants wrote about gratitude or neural topics. After the writing task, they were shown positive and negative pictures. While viewing the positive images, the participants were asked to increase their positive response towards the photographs.

Meanwhile, the participants were asked to reduce their negative responses while viewing the negative pictures. After seeing the photos, the participants briefly rated their emotions. The participants who wrote about gratitude for four weeks were better able to lower their negative emotional reactions while looking at the negative pictures.

Gratitude improves mental well-being

Consciously training yourself to be thankful has a positive impact on mental well-being. In a science experiment, around 216 people were participating in it. All the participants were divided randomly into three groups. The first group comprised of 73 members. All the members practised gratitude exercises for a total of six weeks. The exercises included things like actively focusing on appreciating things, expressing gratitude towards other people, and writing positive things about oneself. 73 members practised these exercises for 10-15 minutes per day.

Meanwhile, the second group had 72 members. This group has been asked to do good things for one day per week. The third group comprised of 71 people. These group members didn’t have to do anything. After both 6 weeks and 3 months, it is proven that one-third of people from the gratitude group, developed a greater sense of mental well-being. This effect of well-being on the gratitude group lasted for around six months after the training. 

Conclusion

The reasons to practise gratitude are plentiful. As you practice gratitude, you develop the flexibility to see life from a different perspective. You learn to cope with stress and deal with life’s everyday problems effectively while gaining the right mentality to deal with negative emotions in your life.