There have been lots of studies done on the benefits of gratitude. The Greater Good Science Centre released a white paper titled, “The Science of Gratitude” (2018), they outline several benefits of having a gratitude practice.
For the individual:
- increased happiness and positive mood
- more satisfaction with life
- less materialistic
- less likely to experience burnout
- better physical health
- better sleep
- less fatigue
- lower levels of cellular inflammation
- greater resiliency
- encourages the development of patience, humility, and wisdom
- increases prosocial behaviours
- strengthens relationships
- may help employees’ effectiveness
- may increase job satisfaction
Apparently, every time a person expresses or receives gratitude, dopamine releases in the brain. This is a feel-good chemical, thus making a connection between the behaviour and feeling good. The more a person practices gratitude, the more often dopamine releases.
10 Ways to Practice Gratitude
- Journal about all things, people, or situations for which you are grateful.
- Think about someone for whom you are grateful
- Write a gratitude letter to someone for whom you are thankful. Consider sending it or giving it to them in person.
- Before you go to bed write down write down three things for which you were grateful
- Practice saying “thank you” in a real and meaningful way to others.
- Write thank you notes. Challenge yourself to write one every week.
- Be mindful of your five senses. How does each enhance your life?
- Create visual reminders to practice gratitude. Sticky notes, notifications, and people are great for this.
- Focus on the good things that others have done for you.
- See if you can train yourself to be on the lookout for opportunities to feel grateful.Keep your eyes open!