It has been told countless times before by your priest, your coach, your motivational speaker and your most emotionally charged movies: Always be grateful for what you have. Now science will be yet another field that professes that gratitude is good for you.
A new study published by Stephen M. Yoshimura and Kassandra Berzins in the National Communication Association’s Review of Communication looks deeper into the connection between expressing gratitude and psychological as well as physical health. And as valid as their findings are, they will not be a surprise to anyone: Being positive improves your health.
The authors related that gratitude leads to several positive effects on our lives in social and psychological aspects. It also makes us more inclined to being altruistic and generous, to seeing the bright side of things, to hoping for the best, to workout often and to have less physical sickness and pain.
The researchers see one of the important features of gratitude as a feeling is its resemblance to the feeling of happiness. Except that gratitude is almost like happiness that must involve something done by others. It involves receiving a message and knowing how to interpret it. It is that interpretation, if positive, that will allow us to feel thankful.
It is therefore true that feeling gratitude is a welcome tool for health improvement, however showing gratitude can also increase your well being, indirectly at least. The research reported that expressing gratitude deliberately will have significantly positive effects on your relationship.
In fact couples that admitted being thankful to have one-another felt the benefits of the confession for an entire six months afterwards. This just means that being grateful to the people around you just makes your social connection to them better. So don’t just say thank you, be thankful!