Thanksgiving is almost upon us, that holiday when we gather around the table with family and friends to enjoy each other’s company, share a scrumptious meal, and give gratitude for all of the good things in our lives. It’s no secret that gratitude is one of the most beautiful qualities in any man or woman. But what about gratitude actually makes a person more beautiful? Here are just a few things:
Gratitude makes you kinder.
There are a myriad of reasons to give thanks during both good times and bad, and when you give thanks, your heart expands. You see all that you’ve been given — be it a special relationship, a job you love, a home that’s nurturing, or something else altogether — and your thankfulness toward the people and circumstances that have made such goodness possible makes you a kinder person to the people who helped you and a more compassionate person toward those less fortunate. It’s this kindness that glows radiantly from any person who cultivates gratitude.
Gratitude helps you sleep.
According to a 2009 study in The Journal of Psychosomatic Research, cultivating gratitude actually helps you rest better at night. Those who are more grateful for what they have are less likely to worry and thus more likely to fall asleep full of peace and contentment. Their dreams are less anxiety-ridden, which means they’re unlikely to awaken or toss and turn, instead sleeping deeply all through the night. A good night’s sleep also affects your skin, preventing dark circles and red rims around your eyes.
Gratitude gives you energy to face the day.
One result of a good night’s sleep: you’re more energetic during the day! Those who cultivate gratitude are also more likely to face the challenges of daily life with optimism and light-heartedness. This gives them energy to tackle difficult problems that might weigh on the less-grateful. Plus, this energy colors your cheeks, giving your skin a healthy glow.
Gratitude lowers your stress levels.
By cultivating gratitude on a daily basis, you’re developing a positive outlook that prevents creeping pessimism and worry. In other words: gratitude lowers your stress levels. People who are thankful for both the tremendous gifts and the small graces that are often taken for granted have greater satisfaction with their lives. By worrying less, they are also less inclined toward breakouts and wrinkles from frowning.
Gratitude increases resilience during tough times.
Sometimes, it’s easier to come up with reasons to be thankful than other times. We all go through stages of life that are flush with good things and stages of life where it’s a daily challenge to look for the silver lining. The thing is, when you’re grateful, you’re more likely to weather the tough times with hope and contentment.
Interested in increasing your sense of gratitude? It doesn’t have to be hard! We recommend keeping a gratitude journal, where you write down an ongoing list of everything you’re thankful for, as well as writing thank you notes to specific individuals who have provided for you in certain important ways.