A New Study By The University Of Michigan Found That Gratitude Can Improve Both Your Physical And Mental Health

While tracking this data, the participants reported their habits and thought patterns– including exercise, sleep, stress levels, thoughts, etc.– three times each day.

In addition, they also rated different statements rooted in gratitude and optimism. This study lasted for a total of three weeks.

And, the study found positive results. According to the report, “Trait gratitude and trait optimism both predicted lower heart rate and blood pressure, better sleep quality, more exercise, less stress, more positive expectations and reflections, and greater feelings of appreciation toward others.”

Interestingly, gratitude and optimism did not completely overlap in their influences on mental health. Instead, the report says, “Gratitude was a strong predictor of felt appreciation toward others and pleasantness when reflecting on the best part of the day, whereas optimism was a stronger predictor of sleep quality, lower stress, and lower unpleasantness when reflecting on the worst part of the day.”

In other words, gratitude was expressed as an outward appreciation of external factors, whereas optimism lead people to focus on their own actions and future.

David Newman, the lead author of the study, said, “Our findings provide important advances to our understanding of gratitude and optimism by showing that gratitude contributes to accentuating the positive aspects of the day, whereas optimism functions by minimizing the negative aspects of the day.”

The study’s researchers are hopeful that these findings will provide insight into the health consequences of these “similar and differential influences of positive dispositions on psychological and physiological outcomes.”

So, maybe trying out a daily gratitude journal is a good idea after all. You may find yourself feeling a bit more well-rested, calmer, and in a better mood.

To read the complete scientific study, visit the link here.

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