The link is probably less likely made, but numerous studies show that the feeling of gratitude helps with stress, anxiety and depression. In a study in 2016 for example, a group of 300 people was divided into one group that spent three weeks writing down things for which they were grateful, one group that recorded the negative experiences during that time and one group that did not make any modification in their behavior.

After 12 weeks, the first group had significantly better mental health than the other two groups. Even 12 weeks after the experiment, this difference was clearly noticeable.

 

It seems so easy

Actually it is quite simple you might think. Nevertheless, we often have a natural tendency to mentally engage in things that are not going the way we would like to see, things we are noy content with, or whatever else is on our to-do-list. Thoughts that make us feel stressed rather than supported. See for yourself how easy it is to end up in your daily business-as-usual and hassle without bothering to think about the things that are good in our lives. Or the little things we could rejoice about if we took the time to do so.

 

Thank someone else

Research also shows that expressing gratitude not only means something for yourself, but can also motivate others. Gratitude can move mountains, especially in the work environment. People feel valued, motivated and work more efficiently. Goals are also achieved more easily.

 

Why positive emotions are so important

You wouldn’t expect it, but the moment we change emotions, a lot of signals and as a result substances and processes in our body change. The more positive the emotion, the more positive the influence on our body. Gratitude is such a positive emotion. But also love or affection are part of this. Some supporters of the positive psychology movement even believe that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratitude that makes us happy. Being grateful as a foundation for experiencing and appreciating happiness. A kind of upward spiral that can almost arise from this.

 

The Benefits of Gratitude

Among other things, grateful people have more energy and optimism, better mood, are mentally healthier, have a better immune system, are more altruistic, can handle stress better, and are generally happier and more satisfied with their lives. That’s quite a bit. Also in dealing with stress.

 

Gratitude practice

Since gratitude makes a valuable contribution to our well-being and it so easily forgotten in our daily life, I often give this tip to my customers. Make sure you give gratitude a place in your life. One does this by writing down three things every day for which he / she was grateful that day, the other thinks about it when he / she is in bed at night. And yet another tries to pay attention to this in the moment. The latter is the best solution, since you can enjoy more the things that you are experiencing in the moment. See for yourself what works best for you.

The important thing in recalling your gratitude ‘afterwards’ is that you actually experience the feeling. To be clear, it doesn’t have to be great things for which you can feel gratitude. Sometimes it’s the little things: a good conversation, a smile from a stranger, or simply a sunny day.

 

Gratitude works, among other things, against stress. Not only in the short term, but also in the long term. Make use of it!