Six Benefits of Gratitude on Your Emotional Energy
Gratitude strengthens our emotional energy
Gratitude reduces feelings of envy, makes our memories happier, lets us experience good feelings, and helps us bounce back from stress.
Gratitude deepens friendships
Multiple studies have shown that gratitude induces pro-social behavior. Making a gratitude list everyday is enough to make you more likely to help others with their problems and makes you more likely to offer them emotional support.
I’ve found an effective way to start a conversation or move a relationship forward is an expression of gratitude, “thank you for that tea, it was super delicious.”
I have one friend who always deeply thanks me for taking the time to see her. That makes me feel appreciated and that makes me feel good. Wouldn’t it make you feel good too?
Gratitude makes us feel good
Surprise, surprise: gratitude actually feels good. According to gratitude researcher, Robert Emmons, gratitude is just happiness that we recognize after-the fact to have been caused by the kindness of others. Gratitude doesn’t just make us happier, it is happiness in and of itself!
Gratitude feels good, and if the benefits on this page are any indication – gratitude will make you stronger, healthier, and more successful.
Gratitude makes our memories happier
Our memories are not set in stone, like data stored on a hard-drive. There are dozens of ways our memories get changed over time – we remember things as being worse than they actually were, as being longer or shorter, people as being kinder or crueler, as being more or less interesting, and so on.
Experiencing gratitude in the present makes us more likely to remember positive memories, and actually transforms some of our neutral or even negative memories into positive ones. In one study, putting people into a grateful mood helped them find closure of upsetting open memories. During these experiences, participants were more likely to recall positive aspects of the memory than usual, and some of the negative and neutral aspects were transformed into positives.
Gratitude increases self-esteem
Imagine a world where no one helps you. Despite your asking and pleading, no one helps you. Now imagine a world where many people help you all of the time for no other reason than that they like you. In which world do you think you would have more self-esteem? Gratitude helps to create just that kind of a world.
Gratitude makes us more optimistic
Gratitude is strongly correlated with optimism. Optimism in turn makes us happier, improves our health, and has been shown to increase lifespan by as much as a few years. I’d say a 5 minute a day gratitude journal would be worth it just for this benefit.