The Benefits of Gratitude Journaling and Active Thankfulness

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While 2020 has been an emotional roller coaster of a year, we have so much to be grateful for.

Take for example the fact that you woke up today and have the ability to read this blog post, move your body, hug your loved ones, and have the ability to think and feel are all reasons to be thankful.

As it turns out, gratitude has psychological benefits aside from just making you feel good.

You may have heard of those who keep a gratitude journal, or maybe they post something they are grateful for on Instagram each day.

Instead of simply speaking out what you are grateful for, keeping track and documenting what you are thankful for each day can give you a record to look back on and can help reiterate the gratitude you feel in the days ahead.

Here are 5 proven ways that gratitude and thankfulness can benefit your life on physiological level:

Gratitude journaling can strengthen your mind

Gratitude and thankfulness has been shown to benefit your mental strength!

Think of gratitude like a workout for your brain.  A study found that not only does gratitude help reduce stress hormones in the body, it also was a key factor in those overcoming and recovering trauma.

While studying Vietnam war veterans, they found that those with higher levels of gratitude had lower levels of PTSD.

In order to see some of these benefits of gratitude, try starting each morning with a short meditation on three things you are grateful for.

Gratitude can benefit your sleep

Gratitude and thankfulness can benefit your sleep!

We could all benefit from a better night sleep, but if you are feeling particularly restless, try writing down what you are thankful for before bed.

A study in 2011 found that those who did just that, slept better and longer!

Similar to the first tip, try listing three things you are grateful for right before turning out the lights to reap some of the sleep benefits of gratitude.

Gratitude can benefit your body

Being grateful can help you feel physically better!

Those who express gratitude, particularly for their bodies report fewer aches and pains than those who do not.  They are also more likely to take care of themselves which creates an infinity loop of feeling good and feeling grateful.  Try incorporating active thankfulness into your daily healthy routine in order to reap some extra benefits of gratitude!

Gratitude can benefit your decision making

Gratitude and thankfulness can benefit your decision making skills!

A study done in 2014 found that individuals who expressed gratitude regularly were less impatient and has lower stress following economic decision making. This allowed them to make more informed decisions that were less driven by short term gratification.

You may experience lasting effects on your day because of the psychological benefits of gratitude.

Gratitude can benefit your brain

Gratitude and thankfulness can add benefits to your brain!

A study done on individuals over a three month period found that those who wrote gratitude letters found that after 3 months of writing letters, showed more activation of the brain in the medial prefrontal cortex than those who did not write any letters.

This suggests, that writing down what you are thankful for can have lasting effects on the brain.

Are you finding yourself grateful for the amount of benefits there are to gratitude? So are we!

Here at Life Elite Fitness, we are passionate about helping you pursue your healthiest life through mental, physical and nutritional wellness training! Check out our comprehensive health coaching by clicking here!


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