Being Grateful Creates "Social Capital"... It Makes People like You
- 1 Gratitude Makes You Healthier in Mind and Body
Yesterday we spoke about the blessings of gratitude in part one. Today in blessings of gratitude part 2 I want to continue the theme of gratitude and why it’s so important in our everyday lives.
Incredibly, there is scientific proof that when you express gratitude. People are more inclined to want to be around you. A group of researchers performed 2 different studies, with a total of 243 volunteers. They asked the participants how grateful they were in their lives, how often they expressed gratitude. They then instructed them to consciously be more aware of more situations, occasions and other things to be grateful for.
The students who reported being more grateful than before became more trusting and social, appreciative and nicer. This made them more attractive to others, thus more likable. The researchers noticed that just a 10% increase in how grateful the volunteers were generated roughly 17.5% more social capital. Social capital is a term which describes the things which make you more sociable. That also make other people want to be around you and get to know you.
THE Subtle Effects Of Gratitude
The effect is subtle and is not anything that you consciously do. You simply give off a vibe of likability. Practicing daily gratitude can help you deepen existing relationships and make new friends. People tend to gravitate towards you like moths to a flame when you are grateful. People like to be liked! Indirectly your gratitude boosts their self-esteem.
Gratitude Makes You Healthier in Mind and Body
A study entitled Positive Psychology Progress was released in 2005. It showed that keeping a daily gratitude journal resulted in 30% fewer symptoms of depression. This effect continues as long as you update your journal. Another reason to update your general daily.
Take some time to start and maintain a gratitude journal (I will show you exactly how to do this later), and you boost your happiness while lowering your risk of becoming depressed.
That same study asked a group of volunteers to make a gratitude visit. This is when you physically meet someone to tell them that you are thankful for having them in your life. People respond to you when you tell them how grateful you are for something they did for you. It makes them want to do more things for you. A single visit to personally tell someone they were appreciated led to an incredible 35% drop in depression symptoms for several weeks!
Counting Blessings Versus Burdens
Research released in 2003, in a report titled Counting Blessings Versus Burdens, showed just how routine gratitude dramatically increased physical health in several different areas. Keeping a daily gratitude journal led to …
An increase of 8% more sleep, and an impressive 25% increase in the quality of sleep
Volunteers reporting 10% less physical pain
A jump of 19% in time spent exercising
A drop of 16% in poor health symptoms
Multiple independent studies show when you are grateful more often, you have more energy and vitality. A 2007 report titled Gratitude: Effects on Perspectives and Blood Pressure revealed a link between hypertension and emotions. Doctors that participated in that study asked their patients to “count their blessings once a week” as a complementary therapy to traditional treatment methods.
That simple once a week pattern of gratefulness led to a “significant decrease in systolic blood pressure”, which led to a lowering of high blood pressure. This drop of high blood pressure symptoms was much greater in the patients who were thankful once every 7 days, than it was in patients who were not given that instruction.
Gratitude may not be able to cure cancer, but the positive emotions that come from thankfulness lead to overall health and wellness. Over 130 different research studies show that practicing gratitude can boost your immune system functioning, help you recover faster from medical procedures, make your heart healthier and decrease the likelihood that you will develop a mental disorder. All in all, this means that you have to visit the doctor less often than those people who do not express thankfulness on a regular basis.
Gratitude Helps You Live Longer
Psychologists and experts on the subject of the human brain understand that optimism and positive emotions allow you to live longer than pessimistic, negative people. It all has to do with the stress hormones your body produces when it senses you are not happy. You know from earlier that expressing gratitude creates positive emotions. These emotions make you optimistic about yourself, the people in your life, your immediate environment and the world at large.
Being positive heps you live a longer more productive life
You have fewer cases of stress, anxiety and depression. Your brain releases “feel good” hormones rather than anxiety and stress-producing hormones. This leads to a body and mind which are healthier than if they are affected by the inflammation which is caused by continuous stress and negative emotions. Practice gratitude every day and you not only live longer, but you also enjoy and appreciate the time you have.
How to Start a Gratitude Journal 2019
Any notebook or paper tablet can serve as a gratitude journal. Your journal works better if it is aesthetically pleasing. Try to find one that is a color you like and has a binding or wrapper that feels good. This will help you enjoy the process of writing down your grateful thoughts more than if you use a standard tablet or notebook.
Every night before you prepare to go to bed, think about and write down what you were grateful for that day. This nighttime practice has been proven to improve sleep quality, and also to help you fall asleep quicker. Gratitude isn’t just about those huge moments that rock your life it’s about simple things such as a bowl of fresh flowers. A good book, a new movie you viewed, and other simple, daily occurrences are all worthy of gratitude.
Try to write down 5 to 10 different things that made you grateful that day. If you like to read or watch television before you go to bed, that is okay. Just make sure that journaling your thoughts of gratitude is the very last thing you do before you go to sleep.
If you are unsure how to create your own gratitude journal, turn to the Internet.
Go to your favorite search engine and look for “gratitude journal” or “thankfulness journal”. There are all kinds of online gratitude journal templates that you can personalize for your own unique situation. Look for “online gratitude journal” to find pieces of software and applications that let you access your gratitude journal from any Internet-connected device.
Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide To Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude: Gratitude JouGrateful: The Transformative Power of Giving ThanksThe Secret Gratitude BookThe One-Minute Gratitude JournalThe Little Book of Gratitude: Create a life of happiness and wellbeing by giving thanksGratitude: A JournalFLIP The Gratitude Switch: A Simple Formula To Change The Trajectory Of Your Life