Gratitude boost

7 ways feeling thankful boosts mental and physical health

Giving thanks is an intentional act — and can lead to some incredible outcomes.


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As the name suggests, Thanksgiving implies a time where people give thanks — at least in theory.


But maybe it just reminds you of turkey or the dread of having to travel during the holidays.

Giving thanks, or showing gratitude, isn’t something that starts and ends with a holiday.

Rather, incorporating regular gratitude practices into your lifestyle can provide a significant boost to your mental and physical health.



(And it might be more productive to be gracious on your own time, rather than as you’re arguing with relatives at the dinner table.)


Here are 7 ways gratitude can improve your health:

7. Encourages healthy behaviors

One study from 2013 found that people who engaged in gratitude practices reported making healthier choices in their lives — such as eating well, avoiding excess drinking, and socializing with friends.

6. Decreases anxiety

Several studies have found that gratitude can tamp down anxiety, as it leads to a “more compassionate relationship with the self.” But it might not be effective for everyone.

5. Mitigates stress

Gratitude fosters a sense of social support, which authors of a 2007 study note can protect people against stress and depression.

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4. Promotes emotional wellness

Overall wellbeing is associated with emotional health, and practicing gratitude has been shown to increase empathy and give people stability when it comes to managing their feelings.

3. Helps with self-improvement

Whatever you’re looking to improve on, getting in the right headspace is an important first step. A 2017 study found that gratitude can help cultivate positive emotions that can keep you motivated.

2. Improves sleep

Mental wellbeing can have a big effect on sleep, and one study from 2008 found that people who expressed more gratitude got higher quality shut-eye.

1. Helps you process life

Life can get tough, and practicing regular thanksgiving in the form of a gratitude journal or letter-writing can be a consistent way to remind yourself of the good things you have.

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Click here for a brief guide on how to start practicing gratitude.

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