Giving, receiving or even witnessing gratitude has significant benefits. Numerous studies have found that having a grateful outlook, “counting one’s blessings” and expressing gratitude to others can have positive effects on our emotional health as well as on our relationships.
Apparently, gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving. It has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, improve sleep, and even generate physical benefits such as lower blood pressure. Now it turns out that even being an observer of a gratitude episode can be beneficial. Watching an act of gratitude between two people can cause an observer to feel more warmth and affinity toward them both.
The studies on gratitude don’t indicate how often we ought to express gratitude or how best to put it into practice. One suggestion is to be specific when expressing gratitude: Instead of just saying “thank you,” say what you are thankful for, and why.
Many experts believe that a small dose of gratitude, once a day, is enough to have a positive impact. To develop an enduring gratitude habit, try linking your gratitude practice to an already ingrained routine or do it at a specific time, such as first thing in the morning.
When is the last time you gave, received or witnessed gratitude and how did you feel afterward? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
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