Think of the last time you received a thank you note. It felt good, right? The science of gratitude is a remarkable thing. Receiving thanks feels good. Thanking someone else can make you feel even better.
Gratitude is like a superfood for one’s emotions. It’s 100% positive and nurturing. Below are four scientifically proven benefits of gratitude practice that might surprise you, both in their impact and in how easy they are to add to your daily routines.
- Expressing gratitude improves mental health and can make you feel better. “Participants in the gratitude condition wrote letters expressing gratitude to others, whereas those in the expressive writing condition wrote about their deepest thoughts and feelings about stressful experiences. About 4 weeks as well as 12 weeks after the conclusion of the writing intervention, participants in the gratitude condition reported significantly better mental health than those in the expressive and control conditions, whereas those in the expressive and control conditions did not differ significantly..” Dive into the science: read the abstract of the study here!
- Gratitude facilitates socially inclusive behaviors. It can help you make new friends. “The emotion gratitude is argued to play a pivotal role in building and maintaining social relationships. Evidence is accumulating that links gratitude to increases in relationship satisfaction. More on “warm thanks” here. And, impress your new friends with your knowledge of the find-remind-and-bind theory, read about the nature and function of gratitude.
- Gratitude can increase your self-control and patience, and help you save money. “Individuals who wrote about neutral or happy times had a strong preference for immediate payouts. But those who’d described feeling grateful showed significantly more patience. Even more telling was the fact that any given participant’s degree of patience was directly related to the amount of gratitude he or she reported feeling.” Check out the article in the Harvard Business Review or dive right into the study.
- Gratitude can make you a better learner. “The three studies provided converging evidence that grateful students have better learning-related outcomes.” Read the science behind how gratitude can help you (or someone you know) be a more motivated and engaged student and ultimately reach higher levels of achievement.