Health Benefits of Gratitude are Proven

Health Benefits of Gratitude are Proven

Aug 22, 2023

Healing through Gratitude

It has been proven that gratitude practices have multiple health benefits.

Multiple studies link gratitude to positive impacts on various outcomes across many domains, including adaptive personality traits, mental illness, subjective well-being, social relationships, and physical health.

Researchers found that people with higher gratitude were likelier to be more extroverted, agreeable, open, conscientious, and less neurotic. They experienced less depression and greater subjective well-being, which includes high positive affect (mood), low negative affect, and increased satisfaction with life. High trait gratitude is also associated with more positive social relationships and better physical health, especially concerning stress and sleep.

At least some of these relationships are considered unique: Gratitude can account for variations in the outcomes after controlling for 50 of the most studied traits in psychology.

Gratitude has been proven to help with anxiety and depression. A review of 70 studies with responses from over 26,000 people, has been conducted. The studies found an association between higher levels of gratitude and lower levels of depression.

People with a grateful mindset report higher satisfaction with life, strong social relationships, and more self-esteem than those who don’t.

Gratitude is also a great coping tool for people with anxiety. If you regularly practice gratitude, it can change your negative thinking patterns.

Several studies have shown that a grateful mindset positively affects the biomarkers associated with the risk of heart disease.

Keeping a gratitude journal can cause a significant drop in diastolic blood pressure.

Writing yourself a letter for what you're grateful for and appreciate about your personality lowers blood pressure and stress.

A 2021 study showed that having grateful thoughts, even if you don’t write them down, helps your heart by slowing and regulating your breathing and synchronizing with your heartbeat.

Take a moment to be thankful for the causes of psychological changes in your body that initiate the parasympathetic nervous system. That part of the nervous system helps you rest and digest. Gratitude and the response to it can help reduce your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing to help with overall relaxation.

As a side effect, people tend to sleep better when more relaxed. So if you practice your Gratitude practice before you go to bed, you might notice an improvement in your sleep.

Practicing gratitude

Say it before sleep: Make it a practice that the last thing you say to yourself is what you’re grateful for, and then you close your eyes.

Write it down: You could keep a journal by your bedside and write it in your gratitude journal every night before bed.

Regularly take a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for. It doesn’t have to be anything huge.

Stop and take a moment to pause the next time you say thank you. What is it that you are grateful for? Make eye contact. Express What it is that you’re actually grateful for.

Redirect your thoughts. If you feel negative or frustrated during the day, step back and shift your focus to the more positive aspect of the situation.

Share your gratitude- send a quick note telling someone why you’re thankful. Encourage the people around you to share what they are grateful for.


“Health Benefits of Gratitude.” 2024. UCLA Health. Accessed January 29.