Regular readers will be familiar with my “reasons to be grateful” that round off most columns. It’s not Pollyanna; it’s science – and, coincidentally, this is National Science Week! Developing an attitude of gratitude is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life, according to Forbes contributor, Amy Morin, who cites seven scientifically proven benefits:
Relationships: Not only is saying thank-you polite, acknowledging other people’s contributions can help you win new friends and create new opportunities. Physical health: Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than average. Psychological health: Gratitude reduces depression and toxic emotions. Reduced aggression: Grateful people experience more empathy and a decreased desire to retaliate. Better sleep: Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed and you may sleep better. Self-esteem: Rather than becoming resentful toward those who have more money or better jobs, grateful people are better able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments. Mental strength: Recognising all you have to be thankful for, even during testing times, fosters resilience.
There are no rights or wrongs about what you express gratitude for; it’s your call, no judgement. Underlying my daily expressions of gratitude is a deep, abiding appreciation for the gift of life, not to be taken for granted.
So today, take note of one thing you’re grateful for. Thank me later (winky face).
For more from our grateful editor: