Living with Chronic Pain

The Importance of Gratitude


Gratitude is defined as the feeling of being thankful, which can be especially difficult for those living with chronic pain. However, pursuing gratitude can convert feelings of self-pity into positive emotions, including greater happiness.

Gratitude involves being appreciative of people, belongings, gifts, nature, and other elements of life. Practicing thankfulness includes regularly identifying and acknowledging the goodness in life.

Benefits of gratitude

Being grateful has many positive impacts on a person’s mental and physical health. It also helps people manage adversity better and enjoy good experiences more often. Health benefits of gratitude include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Improved mood
  • Increased optimism and happiness
  • Heightened self-esteem
  • Reduced feelings of depression or anxiety
  • Greater empathy toward others
  • Enhanced sleep
  • Decreased aches and pains
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Lower risk of heart failure
  • Increased overall well-being

Gratitude also helps build strong relationships, including romantic, friendships, family or work. For example, expressing gratitude toward a partner or spouse contributes to positive feelings towards that person and improves satisfaction within the relationship. If a manager expresses gratitude toward an employee, the employee will likely experience greater productivity and job satisfaction. Gratitude is an important part of a person’s health, well-being, and happiness, and should be practiced on a regular basis.

Additional source: Psychology Today

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