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3 Mental Health Benefits of Gratitude

Adeola Adeyemi

Adeola Adeyemi

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Are you alive right now?

Are you in good health?

Is there a roof over your head?

Have you had at least had a meal today?

Do you have some awesome people in your life?

Is there someone who loves and cares about you?

You answered yes to at least one of these questions, didn’t you? So you, my friend, have something to be thankful for and a reason to practice gratitude.

Gratitude is simply a state of being grateful; of expressing thanks or appreciation for something, from a gift to life itself.

Of a truth, life can be pretty stressful – from morning commute traffic to depressing news on TV/Radio/Social media to a demanding workplace, it can be easy to get fixated on the negatives and assume there is nothing good about life or your life to be specific. This attitude can have a negative impact on your overall physical and mental health.

To get off this train of negative thoughts and feelings, you need to intentionally practice gratitude. It helps you focus on the good stuff, however little, in order to get through the day-to-day stress.

Gratitude can be practiced in different ways such as engaging in gratitude exercises (e.g. gratitude mapping, keeping a gratitude jar or a gratitude journal), prayers, doing something nice for others forms etc

Expressing gratitude in any of this forms has a huge impact on our physical and mental health.

  1. Improves self-awareness. With social media, it has become all too easy to waste our precious time and energy scrolling and comparing our own lives to what we see on our “friends” timelines. This can send many of us into a spiral of self-doubt, negative self-talk, and the destructive and usually inaccurate belief that our current circumstances simply don’t size up to those of our peers.Comparison is the thief of joy. Comparing ourselves to others (whether it be in terms of career achievements, social status, or physical appearance) often results in increased resentment toward others and, subsequently, a decrease in self-esteem. When we begin to actively express gratitude for our own lives and circumstances, self-esteem will naturally increase, leading to an overall higher quality of life.
  2. Improves sleep. Who has ever found sleep easily when their heart is burdened with worry and everything that seems to be going on in their lives? When you spend at least 10-15minutes reflecting on the “little” things that happened in your day such as your favorite song that played while you were stuck in traffic, or that little child who smiled at you, or the waiter who was kind and respectful, or the co-worker who was very helpful in completing a work-project, you begin to feel different. You feel a sense of calm, joy and contentment. This makes you drift into sleep easily. You sleep longer and you awake well-rested. Having a good night rest has an impact on your general physical health as well.
  3. Improves inter-relationship. How do you feel when your boss says “thank you” after the completion of a task? You feel motivated to work harder. How do you feel when someone you love express gratitude for your presence in your life? You feel more positive and drawn towards that person. Everyone likes to feel seen and appreciated. Grateful people easily attract people to themselves and encourage a culture of trust wherever they find themselves. 

    To begin to enjoy these benefits and more, get your copy of “My Gratitude Diary“!

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