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Four health benefits of practising gratitude

When you’re grateful, you’re less anxious, stressed and depressed (Photo: Shutterstock)

An attitude of gratitude is a powerful trait to have. Cultivating a positive outlook on life has so many health benefits but many of us go through life looking for people and physical possessions in the hope that they’ll bring us joy and satisfaction.

ALSO READ: Love it: How to practice body gratitude

Life will not always go your way but, when it does, acknowledge those moments and focus on what’s going great as opposed to things that aren’t working out in your favour. Your vitality will improve over time and you will live a longer, happier life.

Here are a few health benefits of being grateful.

  1. Better quality of sleep

When you’re grateful, you’re less anxious, stressed and depressed. By not allowing certain issues in your life to affect you negatively, you’re able to fall asleep with a clear mind and a heart that is content with life.

Something simple that you can do before bed each night is to write down a gratitude list. Reflect on the highlights of your day. These highlights can be as simple as a warm smile from a stranger to a big blessing such as a promotion at work. Getting enough sleep every night will actually strengthen your immune system.  

Gratitude activates the hypothalamus and gives us a feel-good chemical called ‘dopamine’ (Photo: Shutterstock)
  1. Higher levels of energy

When your mind isn’t clouded with worry or stress, the rest of your body is able to function efficiently. Being grateful will make you healthier, happier and more relaxed because you’ll have the motivation to attend to other aspects of your life.

Gratitude is an easy shortcut to boost your vitality and, as a result, you will live a long, healthy and fulfilling life. 

  1. Improved brain function

The hypothalamus is the region in the brain that controls our emotional responses, appetite, hormones and sleep, among other bodily functions. Studies show that gratitude activates the hypothalamus and gives us a feel-good chemical called ‘dopamine’.

When your dopamine levels are high, you’re happier and you’ll always want the ‘high’ feeling it gives you making you practice gratitude more frequently.

You will be able to fall asleep with a clear mind and a heart that is content with life (Photo: Shutterstock)
  1. Higher self-esteem

When you’re busy comparing yourself to other people and coveting their lives, you fail to acknowledge your own blessings. Social comparisons can stir up jealousy in your heart making you a bitter and negative person.

By practising gratitude on a frequent basis, you’ll not only be happy about your blessings but you will also be happier for other people and their achievements. You don’t need to base your level of self-esteem on what you have or don’t have.

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke

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