No Complaints Here: Exploring Gratitude & Its Benefits
Looking for deeper sleep, a healthier heart, more joint flexibility and a better quality of life? If you're tired of complaining and feeling dissatisfied, try something new. Try exploring gratitude.
A happy Asian senior with walker stands with arms raised triumphantly in the park

Are you struggling with staying healthy? Do you wish for a magic key to unlock better sleep, a healthier heart, more joint flexibility, and happier relationships?

Many people over the centuries have searched for a secret elixir or the fountain of youth. It turns out, it is closer than we ever imagined.

Years of research and numerous studies show that gratitude is good for our health. Gratitude is the opposite of blaming, complaining, and pointing fingers. Gratitude is the opposite of assuming the worst, nitpicking, and being constantly suspicious.

Studies in gratitude show profound benefits for mental health and physical well-being.

Let’s look at some of the remarkable findings of gratitude.

Better Health

Grateful people of all ages and nationalities report feeling healthier and sleeping better. The studies confirm that people who feel grateful have stronger immunity and decreased risk for disease. Practicing gratitude may lead them to live healthier lifestyles such as exercising more, not smoking, and eating well.

Better Sleep

Fed up with waking up multiple times during the night? Try a gratitude journal before you sign up for medications with dangerous side effects. Gratitude can calm the mind, and journaling has been connected with better quality sleep.

You may enjoy writing in a gratitude journal first thing in the morning, or the last thing before sleep.

Healthier Heart

Scientific studies confirm that grateful people have healthier hearts. The research shows that people who practice gratitude tend to follow doctor’s recommendations more thoroughly, and adopt a healthier lifestyle. It’s no wonder that gratitude has a wholesome effect on the heart.

Happier Joints

While it’s easy to search online for supplements and cures for aching joints – one potent cure may already be within reach. Gratitude. Studies on gratitude show a clear link between feelings of gratitude and well-being with joint health.

Isn’t it worth investigating if keeping a gratitude journal could positively affect your joint health?

Happier Relationships

Happy black senior couple with dog on their sofa

Is it any wonder that grateful people have happier relationships? Just think about yourself. Do you feel like being close to someone who is constantly complaining and blaming? Do you tend to move away – hoping that the cloud will pass?

Since you want to build close, connected, and meaningful relationships, this insight is important to consider. You don’t want to have people you care about have the same instinctual cringe around you.

It seems that as we age, we also become more discriminating. We may be more sensitive, due to our life experiences. We certainly can become more tuned into the vibe or feeling that we get around certain people.

What’s your experience? Do you like being around people who are complaining and suspicious? Or do you prefer being around people who are easy-going, natural, and relaxed?

Studies confirm that grateful people tend to be more optimistic – and have better relationships. If having strong relationships and a vital social network is important to you, start with being grateful. It has the power to transform your energy, your environment, and your relationships.

How To Make It Yours

The research is compelling and inspiring. We all have a choice. It may take some learning, practice, mistakes, and pivots. Yet, we can learn to practice gratitude. Whether you like writing grateful letters, keeping a gratitude journal, or working with a coach to strengthen your gratitude practice – this is a ‘learnable’ skill.

Like many skills that we learn, we might start without understanding everything. We didn’t know how to walk before we learned to crawl. We didn’t know how to write before we learned the alphabet. We didn’t know how to bake sourdough before we learned how to turn on the oven.

In any skill, we start with the basics. Then, we practice. We may fall and stumble. That’s only natural. Over time, we gain confidence and expand our scope. We handle the basics – and move forward to tackle advanced material.

The same holds for practicing gratitude. So, let’s start with a few basic steps to take right away.

What To Stop Doing – What To Start Doing

If you’ve ever looked at popular magazines, you know the framework. Stop doing “X.” Start doing “Y.”

This is equally true when embarking on gratitude as a practice. There are some things to stop doing – these may not initially be simple and easy. But, they will ultimately be rewarding. There are some things to start doing. These might seem odd or simplistic at first. Give it a chance to work, before you dismiss it.

3 Things to Stop Doing

• Blaming
You might be good at this. But give it a rest. Notice that urge to blame someone else, the weather, the society, and the other guy. Notice and let it pass like a cloud in a summer sky.

• Complaining
Same as above. No one wants to hear a rant. Or read a detailed ‘shocked, dismayed, and appalled’ complaint letter. Let it go, immediately. Get rid of it just like you’d toss a nasty, out-of-date moldy item in the trash.

• Seeing the Worst
Although something may not go your way, not everyone is out to get you. Not everyone you meet is a con or a scam artist.

3 Things To Start Doing

Older woman wearing glasses sits on couch journaling in a notebook

• Appreciating
Notice a moment of beauty. Listen to a songbird. Watch the steam rise off a cup of tea. Take time to appreciate and savor beauty in the world around you.

• Recording
Keep a gratitude journal. Note the things, people, situations, and input that you are grateful for. Many people find keeping a written record helps to anchor and expand positive feelings.

• Writing
Write a letter expressing your gratitude. You don’t have to send it. Studies show that the act of expressing gratitude has a positive impact – even if you don’t ever send it.

Assistance Club Summary

Gratitude practice is available, free, and within reach. Numerous scientific studies confirm that gratitude has a positive impact on sleep, heart health, immunity, joint health, and relationships.

How can you make this work for you? Start practicing gratitude. You’ll be so glad you did.