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Gratitude is a necessary ingredient to being happy, which can help you live an overall healthy life. Gratitude continues to prove success in reducing stress and negativity. It also provides a feeling of reward, creates hope for the future and improves your overall well-being.

Gratitude helps you grow as an individual, but it will also help those around you learn how important they indeed are in our lives which can benefit friendships tremendously. It shows more humility than negative thinking ever could.

When we appreciate the value of our lives, we can reduce mental illness disorders and side effects. It also helps with developmental skills such as humility and patience. Adults can always use more of these!

It is a trait that many of us overlook and forget about, but being grateful can improve your performance in various aspects of your life.

Gratitude may even be life-altering! Expressing continual gratitude has been shown to help people cope with severe medical conditions and improve health outcomes for those struggling with a chronic illness like heart disease, cancer or diabetes.

We all know that gratitude is a vital part of living a healthy life, but what are the benefits?

1. Showing gratitude helps to alleviate depression.

Showing gratitude has been thought to help alleviate symptoms of depression. Depression is a mental health condition that people struggle with for years, and the effects can be devastating on relationships, jobs and overall happiness. When you leave a situation like that untreated, you could suffer dangerous consequences. Depression can even lead to suicide, which claims the lives of 132 people per day.

Currently, the National Institute of Mental Health has reported that 17.3 million U.S. adults have experienced at least one depressive episode a year. The numbers were much higher for females versus males suffering from depression.

A 2013 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found evidence suggesting that expressing gratitude may change levels of hormones related to stress, such as cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline).

Cortisol is the body's primary stress hormone, and if the levels are high, then your body's built-in alarm will sound, and it can shift your moods and even decrease your motivation. 

2. Showing gratitude helps to reduce anger problems.

Gratitude also helps with reducing aggression. Aggression affects one in ten Americans, which equates to nearly nine percent of the U.S. population. Getting angry is a natural feeling, but it's essential to know when to step back.

When you express appreciation or are thankful for the blessings in your life you are able to be more empathetic with people.

Gratitude can be seen as something that isn't always necessary. However, over time, expressing gratitude can help out in even small situations like at work or during family gatherings. In these settings, people may need that extra push to get along better and express their thanks towards other people in their life.

3. Showing gratitude helps foster healthy sleeping patterns.

One surprising health benefit of showing gratitude is reducing sleep problems. Gratitude has been shown to reduce sleep apnea from the lack of sleeping well, which contributes to getting more tired quickly throughout the day.

Researchers at the University of Manchester were able to make the connection between gratitude and getting a good night's rest when they did a study with 400 people who had sleeping problems. Participants that reported higher levels of gratitude and more positive thoughts before bed was able to sleep better and for longer periods of time.

Gratitude is a great way to get the body and mind ready for slumber at night. Gratitude can help people sleep better and feel more refreshed when they wake up in the morning. Gratitude helps with melatonin production from the pineal gland, which allows you to enter into REM sleep more easily.

4. Showing gratitude improves mental vitality.

Gratitude has been proven as a natural anti-depressant. This is such an exciting discovery, especially for anyone who has been diagnosed with PTSD or suffers from trauma. Researchers were able to conduct a study on Vietnam war veterans both with and without PTSD. The veterans living with PTSD did not practice gratitude, while those who lived without PTSD did.

One could argue that showing gratitude daily will, in fact, improve the well-being of your life.

We as a nation can begin to heal together from trauma as well as science has already proved. America's mental state was in jeopardy following the September 11th terrorist attack. The entire country was consumed by their emotions and anyone who suffered a loss was twice as likely to develop depression, PTSD or anxiety.

Gratitude gave post 9/11 Americans an outlet for their feelings of fear, anger, and sorrow that led to healthier coping strategies than using drugs or alcohol alone would have provided relief.

Researchers conducted a study on subjects following the 9/11 terrorist attacks that concluded adults who expressed gratitude in the wake of a crisis were able to stay resilient and avoid developing depression.

5. Showing gratitude helps build confidence.

If you struggle with self-esteem, you are not alone. It's estimated that 85 percent of the world's population has low self-esteem. Gratitude can help boost your self-esteem and keep you from negative feelings, such as jealousy.

In a study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, researchers studied athletes in two separate groups. Group A showed high levels of gratitude which contributed to the subjects improving their self-esteem over time, while group B did not improve in any area.

Gratitude helps create healthy relationships. People with higher levels of gratitude are more satisfied with their jobs. This allows them to work better together as a team and focus on their more significant impact. Gratitude makes you more accepting of others and improves the way you interact with people around you. You will also express yourself better and show your appreciation for the things that matter most in your life.

Gratitude is an essential part of mental health. After discovering the scientifically backed benefits of gratitude, you must have realized how vital this is to your overall health and happiness in life. Gratitude is more than just a feeling; it's an active choice that requires constant effort.

Think of gratitude as a free investment for your well-being. It costs you nothing but provides never-ending benefits to your mind, body and soul. Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools in your life to lead a happy and successful life. 

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