Why is Gratitude Important?

Robert Eammons Has been researching the science behind gratitude.

In humans, there is a very strong relationship between gratitude and emotions. Gratitude makes us appreciate the gifts we have. Gratitude between people strengthens the bonds between members of the family, the unit, the work environment. George Simmel said that it is a “moral memory of mankind.” By saying the words thank you, it is an affirmation of being grateful to what is done.

We have to be intentional on how to look for gratitude. Numerous research has shown the impact of being grateful on our physical body, cardiovascular health, and improves the immune system.

The University of Southern California (USC) states that even with subtle thinking of being grateful, it automatically affects our brain. When we have feelings of appreciation and how grateful we are for others, it gives us a warm feeling for that social connection. USC has documented a collection of Holocaust testimonies where many of their survivors talked about receiving lifesaving measures from other people during the holocaust. USC turn this into an experiment where participants read brief stories about how one would feel if someone helps them In the context of the Holocaust.

Researchers have found out that there are two primary regions in the brain that had enhanced activity which is the anterior cingulate cortex and the media prefrontal cortex that are associated with processing emotions, bonding, and social interactions, moral judgment, and the ability to understand mental states of others. 

Scientists found that being grateful is such a complex social emotion that benefits us. Gratitude is not a reward but involves a connection with others, taking in their perspective, and also involves morality. There is a lot of research findings that gratitude improves our health and well-being. The individual who practices gratitude has strong bonds with others. Research also shows that we are able to celebrate the happiness and we can also focus on the good.

It is very important for you to practice gratitude especially when faced with challenges in life. Being grateful helps us focus on the good. It is a healing process and brings renewed hope. Gratitude also helps us when things are not going right. Our perspective in life makes a big difference in how we feel. It is a  choice to be grateful because, in the long run, it will help us focus on the good.

Being grateful helps us not feel overwhelmed due to things that come our way. As you continue to face life, reflect back on it the negatives and how you overcame those challenges.

Being grateful means you realize your power to transform an obstacle into an opportunity. Gratitude does not erase the negative things that happen in life. It means that we can practice reframing our thoughts. Looking at the negative and turning it into a positive angle for gratitude. Look at the COVID-19 pandemic, deaths, loss of jobs, and try to refocus on the good things that you can be grateful for during that time in your life.

By being grateful, we are able to regulate our emotions. Gratitude improves our well-being. Gratitude is “infectious” and affects your family and friends tremendously!

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