Why Gratitude is Essential to leading a Positive Life

Gratitude is Essential to Leading a Positive Life

Have you ever wondered why there is an entire day in the USA dedicated solely to the act of giving thanks for what we have in our lives? According to Harvard Health, Thanksgiving season is the time of year where students show the highest spirits, since gratefulness is directly linked to heightened contentment with one’s life.

The act of thanks-giving makes you connect to something higher than yourself – for example, realizing everything that God has done for you and the way that He takes care of you makes you appreciate it all the more. It makes you see the goodness behind the adversity, the rewards that challenges in your life yields, the relief when something that seemed too hopeless at first turned into something so amazing at last.

Some psychology studies have linked the feeling of gratitude to feelings of contentment and happiness, helped people relish in their good experiences and, as a result, even improve their health. The mind is a powerful thing. Some studies have even shown that a positive mindset has helped individuals out of the most challenging circumstances imaginable, simply by stubbornly seeing the good in things and appreciating it.

In the aforementioned study at Harvard Health, three groups were instructed to make a list of things that happened in their daily life – the first was tasked with writing down the things that they were grateful for, the second group things that irked or irritated them, and the third group simply things that happened to them regardless of how they felt about it.

The results were astonishing. After two and a half months, all three groups’ results were submitted for interpretation. The group tasked with listing things they were grateful for were seen by physicians far less often than either of the other two groups. They were known to be more physicially active and socially involved, and ended up displaying big increases in overall happiness scores.

While it may seem like a small thing, that’s exactly what makes gratitude such a powerful tool for daily life. A few positive words of thanks per day could have long-lasting effects in both your mindset and your health, and eventually your life as a whole.

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