In the past, people were unappreciative of a lot of things. They got so many things and showed so little appreciation in return. Fortunately, people in the world are generally being more appreciative in recent years due to current factors, one of which is the pandemic.
Scientists have conducted considerable research to figure out the effects of gratitude and have found exciting findings. Some of these effects have more subtle effects on your behavior and lifestyle, while some other effects can change your life forever. That said, below are four of the most significant ways gratitude can change your life for the better.
- 4 Ways in Which Gratitude Can Change Your Life
- It helps to improve your mental health significantly
The first thing is that showing gratitude does help with your mental health. Gratitude has a way of improving your mental state of mind. For one, it enables you to manage adverse mood disorders like depression. Additionally, it helps to manage anxiety and stress. Researchers conducted a study (mentioned above) to determine how many people are likely to show gratitude to others.
The researchers told the participants to write gratitude letters. They quickly discovered that the participants didn’t know how to articulate their thoughts. What’s more, is that only about 23% of them in the study actually sent out their gratitude cards to their recipients. The participants who didn’t send their letters felt the same positive emotions as those who sent them out to their targeted recipient.
The study reveals that it’s helpful to articulate your thoughts, and the best possible way to do it is by sending out appreciation letters. If you don’t know what to write, you can do things like writing down gratitude questions and answers, or even something as simple as saying thank you in any way you can.
- Gratitude eliminates toxic emotions
Everyone feels negative emotions every once in a while. However, holding on to those toxic emotions can be detrimental to your health. Interestingly, showing your gratitude towards people and things around you can help you eliminate those unhealthy and negative emotions.
Writing down an appreciation letter will make you more likely to use words that have emotions. Saying it verbally will also do the trick. Using these words with positive emotions slowly seeps into your personality, letting you have a more positive mindset towards interacting with the world. If you want this to work, try not to use so many words with negative emotions.
- It changes your brain chemistry
Due to how the world works, not many people show gratitude towards each other. Over time, this has caused altered brain chemistry and the tendency to focus on negative thoughts and emotions. The same study (mentioned above)stated that after studying their participants for three months, they found that the participants who continued to show gratitude had greater neural sensitivity in the medial prefrontal cortex.
On the other hand, people who didn’t continue to express gratitude had lower sensitivity—doing the same things produced different emotions in the two categories of participants—giving money to a cause brought about happiness in people who showed gratitude. Contrastingly, people who stopped being grateful for random things in their life showed feelings of massive guilt even when they were giving money to a good cause.
- Gratitude helps to manage your emotions
Lastly, showing gratitude can help you manage your emotions and keep them under control. Many people don’t know what to do with feelings like sadness, anger, and despair. Admittedly, these are all normal human emotions that anyone can feel at any point in time. However, leaving these emotions to linger in your mind and heart for too long will do more harm than good.
Showing gratitude even when you feel these negative emotions can help you keep these feelings under control. For example, we all have bad days at work, school, or home. You could have gotten yelled at, lost a contract, or done poorly on a particular project. Writing down things you’re grateful for helps to make these feelings more bearable.
If you get angry at someone, take some deep breaths and think about how grateful you are to have that person in your life. Doing this will keep you from making rash decisions due to your emotions, helping you navigate through life more manageable and stress-free.
Showing gratitude is a culture that was seemingly lost for quite a while. For quite a bit, the world was becoming more hostile. Now that the pandemic occurred in recent times, the world is now beginning to realize how vital showing appreciation really is. That said, the four points mentioned above show you how much gratitude can change your lifestyle and life in general.
It helps you manage your emotions, and it helps you have more stable mental health. It also allows you to eliminate toxic emotions and even changes your brain chemistry. Try showing some gratitude and watch how your life changes for the better.