Gratitude is good for us every way you look at it.
According to Sonja Lyubomirsky at the University of California, Riverside, it boosts our happiness levels in a number of ways: by promoting the savoring of positive life experiences; by bolstering self-worth and self-esteem and helping to cope with stress and trauma; by building social bonds and encouraging moral behavior; by diminishing negative emotions and helping us to adjust to new situations.
Gratitude has a number of health benefits, as well. “Research suggests that individuals who are grateful in their daily lives actually report fewer stress-related health symptoms, including headaches, gastrointestinal (stomach) issues, chest pain, muscle aches, and appetite problems,” says Sheela Raja, PhD, an assistant professor and clinical psychologist in the Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago in an Everyday Health piece.
But how do we get there? For some folks gratitude is much easier than others. I, for one, have to work really hard at it, because my cup usually appears one-third full. With a few exercises, though, I can become a more grateful person and promote gratitude in my life, which brings many emotional and physical gifts.