25 Extraordinary Benefits Of Being Thankful, According To Science

Posted by , Updated on November 28, 2022

Have you ever wanted to be more thankful but struggled at it? We’ve all been there. It’s especially difficult when you’re going through hardship. But, according to a large amount of scientific evidence, a heart of gratitude carries a whole host of benefits. From mental and physical well being to better relationships, practicing thankfulness on a daily basis can radically change your life. We all want to be better. Let’s take every step we can to be grateful. Here are 25 Extraordinary Benefits Of Being Thankful, According To Science.


According to a study by the University of Warwick, being thankful helps protect people against stress, anxiety, and depression.

happySource: http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/29792/

Psychology professor Nathan DeWall of UK College of Arts & Sciences did studies that showed thankful people are less aggressive, have fewer hurt feelings, and have lower sensitivity.

not anxiousSource: https://psychology.as.uky.edu/gratitude-antidote-aggression

According to a study by Kent State University, the practice of thankfulness helps people be happier. Thankfulness can be practiced in many ways. In this study, participants increased their happiness by writing letters of gratitude to people who had made a positive impact on their lives. So next time you're having a gloomy day, write a letter to someone about how grateful you are for them.

thank you writingSource: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/ksu-swt112508.php

Like anything else, gratitude can become a tedious task if you're not careful. According to one study, "happiness activities" that practiced kindness, gratitude, and optimism were best done in variation instead of everyday repetition.

long lasting happinessSource: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-science-of-lasting-happiness/

Research discovered that gratitude helps improve your overall psychological well-being, regardless of personality.

positiveSource: https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/benefits-gratitude-research-questions/

A 2006 study found that people who were more grateful were also more likely to help out others, even strangers.

helping handSource: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01705.x

Even a simple, "Thank you," can make a positive impact on your life. A 2014 study published in Emotion stated that people who thank an acquaintance are more likely to build a long lasting friendship. You never know what relationships might develop just by expressing simple thankfulness.

friendshipSource: https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/#238512b6183c

Being thankful has also shown to increase higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus which helps with eating, drinking, and your metabolism.

brainSource: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/prefrontal-nudity/201211/the-grateful-brain

Not only are people less aggressive when they're grateful, they're also more empathetic toward others.

empathySource: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550611416675

If you're wanting to get more exercise, then gratitude might help. According to a study, people who are thankful exercise more.

runnerSource: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/habits-of-grateful-people_us_565352a6e4b0d4093a588538

Want to be have better self-esteem? A study in the Journal for Sports Psychology showed that thankful people had higher self-esteem because it reduces social comparisons.

peaceSource: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude

Being thankful may also help you have longer lasting and more sound sleep.

feetSource: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/minding-the-body/201111/how-gratitude-helps-you-sleep-night

If you're looking to have better dietary behaviors, thankfulness can help with that, too. In one study, dietary fat intake reduced by 25% in those who practiced gratitude.

dietarySource: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/medicalcenter/features/2015-2016/11/20151125_gratitude.html

Psychology Today states keeping a gratitude journal and staying more thankful will help with your overall resilience.

journalSource: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ask-dr-darcy/201102/5-tips-increase-resilience

Need better grades? A study in the Journal of Happiness Studies showed that thankful adolescents have higher GPA's.

classroomSource: https://people.hofstra.edu/jeffrey_j_froh/spring%202010%20web/10.1007_s10902-010-9195-9[1].pdf

A study has shown a link between gratitude and being charitable to increased physical health and lower risk of heart disease.

heart healthSource: https://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/07_0506_hbr.pdf

Along with increased physical strength, gratitude is also linked to greater mental health. People who have gone through trauma have shown to make it through by having gratitude.

mental healthSource: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/leveraging-adversity/2014/10/the-surprising-link-between-mental-strength-and-gratitude/

If you want to improve your love life, tons of research has shown being thankful helps make you sexier and more attractive.

physical attractionSource: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-money-and-your-heart/201311/expressing-gratitude-can-make-you-sexier

Gratitude also just plain feels good. It activates the reward centers of the brain and brings more pleasure to your life.

brain pathwaySource: https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2014/11/24/wire-your-brain-for-gratitude-in-30-seconds/#81c67ac18ca5

Studies have shown gratitude leads to action, making people more successful at work because they strive for and achieve their goals.

gratitude workSource: http://www.everup.com/2015/11/24/why-being-thankful-is-good-for-your-brain/

When you're thankful for what you have, you're less likely to want more in a short period of time. It'll make you think better about your finances and is overall better for your wallet.

walletSource: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-desteno/gratitude-good-for-your-w_b_6848140.html

If you're feeling lonely, studies have shown practicing gratitude could reduce those feelings and help you build relationships.

lonelySource: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gratitude-practice-happiness_us_5655ec57e4b079b28189eab0

Practicing gratitude helps rewire our brains to continue feeling grateful, hopeful, and stop thinking on the negative.

rewireSource: http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/how-i-stay-grateful-even-when-the-world-really-sucks

Being thankful can help lower your blood pressure and increase your immune system.

blood pressureSource: https://www.today.com/health/be-thankful-science-says-gratitude-good-your-health-t58256

Gratitude can prove contagious. If you provide an act of gratitude for someone, they in turn will be more likely to do the same for you or someone else.

togetherSource: http://www.phillyvoice.com/happiness-and-sadness-really-are-contagious-study-suggests/

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