15 NOV 2022

Gratitude a major factor in happiness

Proven Benefits Of Gratitude

People are always looking for the key to happiness and recent studies show that gratitude may be one of those keys. Most people feel up and down throughout the year and, with serious depression aside, happiness levels appear to level out every three to six months, back to what is known as your “set-point.” Feeling thankful can raise your natural set-point.

In the study, three control groups were asked to write down things they are thankful for, things that are hassles, or to write down things that just happened, without a preset positive or negative context, every day for 10 weeks. Some common items that people were grateful for include sunsets, just the opportunity to be alive, and close friendships. Common things in the taxes group were taxes, parking issues, and bad food.

Practicing gratitude for positive mental and physical health results is not a new discovery, in a way. Past studies have shown that chronically ill patients who reflect on things in their life for which they are grateful become more optimistic about their conditions and were even sleeping better. Sleep itself is a major factor in overall well being, and getting good sleep can make a person much healthier.

How can you effectively and easily practice gratitude? Start with a gratitude journal and dedicate 10 minutes per day to reflecting on all the things you are grateful for, big or small. If you are religious or believe in God, then try praying. Meditation is recommended to everyone, spiritual or otherwise. It is a personal, mental practice that can be spiritual or not. Create visual reminders to keep you focused on the people who are supportive of your recovery by putting up pictures of happy times with those loved ones.

There are many ways to express gratitude and every person has to find what is best for them. The important thing is to concentrate on the positive aspects of life. This is an invaluable practice for people of every walk of life, especially those in recovery. After all, no matter the difficulty, there is always a sunset to be thankful for.