If you’re alive and reading this, you have something to be grateful for. That’s great news! This post will give you support in practicing gratitude on a regular basis, so you can better heal yourself, while lowering stress and anxiety, enhancing your sleep, and improving your relationships.
The Healing Benefits of Gratitude
You may not realize that something as simple as expressing gratitude—something that costs nothing and takes very little time—can have such an impact on your health. Yoga Masters have been teaching for centuries that gratitude is a key component of a happy, balanced and healthy life, but it’s nice to see that it’s in alignment with modern findings. A comprehensive look at gratitude and its effects  showed that when you routinely appreciate others or even just the positive parts of your life, you can experience:
- Less aggression 
- Heightened feelings of altruism, empathy, warmth, a greater desire to treat friends, family, and strangers with more kindness (you may even set off a chain of random acts of kindness!) When someone does something nice for you, you’ll be inspired to pay it forward 
- Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, and more optimism 
- More trust in others
- Extra intrinsic motivation to do and achieve more 
- More satisfaction from relationships (romantic relationships also get a boost from gratitude!) 
- Better ability to deal with criticism/less sensitive to others’ negativity
- Better sleep
- Lowered likelihood of developing a drug or alcohol problem
- Lowered risk of eating disorder (thanks to a healthier body image)
- Quicker recovery from post-traumatic stress
The review suggests that there could actually be a causal relationship between gratitude and well-being. That means increasing gratitude could directly enhance many different aspects of your life, most notably your health. Could there be an easier, or more inexpensive way to enhance both your happiness and health? (Okay, sometimes gratitude can be challenging when you’re feeling down—especially in the beginning–but with practice, it becomes much easier, I promise!) Training yourself to think this way only takes a few minutes at a time, per day or even per week. Eventually, it will help shift your whole perspective on life in a much more positive way.
What Is Gratitude, Really?
That seems simple enough to answer, right? You can feel gratitude when someone helps you out, but being thankful isn’t always related to another person. Are you thankful for your warm clothes in the winter, even if you purchased them yourself? What about your meals, even if you’re the one who has to prepare and cook them?…