Why gratitude is essential for your emotional health

Gratitude gives inner peace

Gratitude may seem like an old-fashioned concept that no longer has a place in our high-tech society. Yet gratitude begins to gain ground, as we find that it makes us feel good.

Numerous scientific studies have shown that gratitude keeps us healthy and resilient. So it’s high time to put the gratitude in the spotlight!

What exactly is gratitude?

Gratitude is expressing appreciation for what life gives you, and It has nothing to do with monetary value but is an intuitive feeling born of inner cordiality.

Beloved objects and favorable circumstances can evoke feelings of gratitude and happiness, but we are especially grateful for loving relationships as social animals.

Why is gratitude important?

Gratitude has a positive influence on the experience of happiness and the emotional connection with others. In addition, several studies have shown that gratitude also maintains your physical and physiological health.


  • improves your mood
  • encourages you to take good care of yourself
  • lowers high blood pressure
  • ensures deeper sleep
  • increases your emotional flexibility and resilience
  • gives you a positive attitude, so that more people appreciate you

Scientific proof

The 2,000-year-old philosophy of mindfulness doesn’t need modern scientific research to see that gratitude is a compelling way to promote our well-being. This ancient wisdom is now confirmed by modern science:

  • People with heart disease or immune disorders improve their health when they practice gratitude
  • Teens who feel gratitude are less likely to turn to thanks and drugs
  • Grateful people have more self-control, which helps to eat healthily, stress less, and stop smoking and drinking
  • Gratitude reduces insomnia and depression while increasing feelings of happiness and contentment
  • Understanding what is good in your life has a positive influence on your self-confidence

But how does gratitude work?

To understand the positive effects of gratitude, we first need to go back to a constantly negative influence in our lives: the ego. The ego resides in our ratio, and you can recognize it by that constantly chattering voice in your head.

The ego’s job is to alert you to potential danger and threats. To do this properly, the ego judges every aspect of your life to simplify the world around you and protect you.

The ego has no nuance at all because it must quickly convince you that running away is the safest option in the event of fire or violence.

A big guy who walks towards you in a dark alley is therefore not fairly judged on his good and less attractive qualities, but immediately labeled as ‘bad’ and ‘deadly dangerous,’ so that you – before you can think or doubt – turn around. And run away.

Although the ego has a protective role, you must be careful not to give the ego too much leeway. An ego that is not reined in warns louder and more hysterically, even for things, people, and circumstances that are not dangerous.

A licentious ego that is given the freedom to go its way becomes dominant. With such an overactive ego, your whole world turns dark gray because the ego sees ‘danger’ everywhere.

The ego then forces negative judgments on you throughout the day and keeps you constantly in a state of alert — when there is no danger whatsoever.

Some examples of an overactive ego are: fear of going outside; random panic attacks; not making new contacts because you are afraid of disapproval; always saying ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’; hyperventilation while sitting safely at home; working hard and still being dissatisfied with your own performance.

The danger of an unhinged ego is that you will be bombarded with negativity. This irrevocably leads to chronic stress, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and burnout.

The power of mindfulness

With mindfulness, you learn to control that overzealous ego to keep a healthy view of the world: not black and white, but full-color with all the good and less good things that life entails.

Several powerful attitudes will help you to contain the ego and prevent you from seeing everything in a negative light:

  • Acceptance
  • do not judge
  • non-striving
  • patience
  • start over
  • letting go
  • to trust
  • integrity
  • modesty
  • sympathy
  • gratitude

The mindfulness postures work individually on your mind but also influence each other.

The more postures you practice, the better you will feel: calm, clear, positive, confident. And the better you feel, the easier it is to try and add other poses.

Once you’ve become adept at acceptance, patience, and trust, it’s easy to add letting go and compassion.

Gratitude vs. Ego

Practicing gratitude effectively limits the ego’s influence. The ego does not live in a world of gratitude but in a world of envy and lack.

The ego will not point out everything right in your life but will instead tell you what you are missing, what is wrong, and that you are a pathetic victim of an insincere universe.

Of course, this won’t help you. It doesn’t help to sit sadly in a corner and sulk about everything you’ve missed so miserably when others have everything in abundance, poor you!

Yet, the ego wants you to believe this. After all, the ego has power over you when you are sick, weak, and pathetic. And that’s how the ego likes it: that you are its powerless slave.

You probably understand what your life looks like then: always complaining, always being negative, constantly feeling envy.

This is not life. You cannot live like this, and therefore the risk of mental and physical disorders is high.

With gratitude, you go right against this lousy scenario. Whatever your ego tries to whisper negative ideas to you with gratitude, you consciously counteract them.

Gratitude is an assertive mindfulness attitude that undermines the ego’s games, keeping you healthy and strong.

Because with gratitude:

  • you don’t have to be envious; after all, you are grateful for everything you have
  • you don’t have to be insecure about yourself; after all, you are thankful for your talents and positive qualities
  • You don’t have to be jealous. after all; you are grateful for the beautiful relationships that have been awarded to you and fill your life with love and sincere attention
  • you don’t have to fear that you will fall short after all; you are grateful for all the good that comes your way every day
  • With gratitude, you see life and all things that happen to you from a positive angle.

Don’t deny

Gratitude doesn’t mean wearing rose-colored glasses all day, refusing to see that sometimes life hurts. Gratitude is gratitude for all the good, not denying that bad things also happen. With mindfulness, you embrace the whole of life: all the good and bad things.

Because bad things often have good consequences, you become stronger and more resilient, and you learn to take better care of yourself or stand up for yourself through adversity.

With mindfulness, you practice being aware of all that life offers, which means you don’t push negative events away but calmly acknowledge them and then work with them.

How do you practice gratitude when life goes against you?

Suppose you get sick and end up in the hospital. Then why should you be grateful? It doesn’t seem very easy to use gratitude, but it is possible.

Of course, being sick is no fun, and it will demand the utmost of your strength. Still, you can be thankful for the fact that your ailing body warned you that something was wrong by passing on pain and discomfort.

That constant pain alarmed you, and you went to the doctor. This allowed the doctor to intervene and prevent worse.

So be thankful for your body’s intelligence to warn you. Often your faithful body warns immediately, only we tend to ignore that at first and plow bravely on, with pain and all.

Thank you for taking good care of yourself:

Once in the hospital, you can be grateful for all the good care. Your doctors and nurses have studied for at least 8 long years (!!)and then worked hard for years to increase their knowledge and experience.

Now they make all that knowledge and experience available to you, wow! We think it is pretty normal to be helped when we are sick; we have a damn right to that?

Yes, you can see it that way too. But such an attitude is not going to help you recover quickly. It arises from the angry and wronged ego and thinks it has a right to everything.

If you think about it, about the sacrifice of the doctors and nurses to help you with their knowledge, that is very special.

It’s an excellent reason to be thankful for. If you are grateful for their good care, they will be more than happy to help you.

Because nobody likes whiners and people who think they are entitled to everything. But we all like to go the extra mile for people who appreciate us and are grateful for what we do.

In short, in all the seemingly negative events in our lives, we can see positive sides—without denying the pain of those experiences.






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