Scientists and researchers have been studying the effects of being happy, healthy and resilient for many years.
They found that grateful people have fewer aches and pains, a more positive outlook on life, healthier hearts, better sleep and improved relationships.
Researcher Jeff Hoffman says, “Gratitude can be an incredibly powerful and invigorating experience.” One study showed that the people who kept an online journal for two weeks reported being more physically healthy, headaches and stomach aches disappeared. Skin and lungs were also reported by participants to be clearer.
Gratitude has been studied for many years with mixed results. The shorter term studies tended to not find any significant changes in positivity, however the longer studies found more health benefits reported by participants.
Jeff Hoffman concludes, “There is growing evidence that being grateful may not only bring good feelings, it could lead to better health”.
It’s good for your sleep
Studies have shown that people have a more restful sleep after recording what they’re grateful for before bed.
One study in 2016 gave a group of women a gratitude journal to write in before they went to sleep, while the other group of women were given other tasks. The result was the grateful group recounted they had better quality sleep than those in the other group.
There’s even more benefits of writing a gratitude journal
Gratitude journal benefits are:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Less fatigue
- Less depression
- More confidence and
- Reduces stress.
Does keeping a gratitude journal really keep you healthier?
It’s possible that people who keep a gratitude journal feel more positive, and more likely to look for a healthier lifestyle.
How to keep a gratitude journal
Schedule 15 minutes, at least three times a week. One study showed that more people were happier than writing in a journal, every day. I like to buy a gorgeous journal, and a pen that glides across the page. The point of writing a gratitude journal is to really experience that moment in time.
What you can do now·
Find a quiet place and settle in·
Think about all the experiences you had during the day·
Choose three to five experiences that you want to expand on.
Be specific about what you’re grateful for i.e. I enjoyed having a coffee date with my husband because it helps me take time to be in his presence. I love that he makes time for me, and that we can talk about anything·
Elaborate on who the person or thing is, and what you enjoyed about the experience. I could add to the previous entry that we’ve been together for 44 years and still find so much to enjoy about each other. He is the most gentle, loving man, and I love being with him. I’m grateful that he’s in my life·
Concentrate on choosing people to be grateful for rather than things, as focusing on people has a greater impact·
Write in detail·
Record the surprises that come into your life·
Make a commitment to write regularly. It can be once a week, or three times a week. Schedule the time. Remember there’s no wrong way to do it. There’s only your way. Research shows grateful people are happy people.