Woman holding baby and smiling.Woman holding baby and smiling.

The Benefits of Gratitude For Mamas According to research.

By Nadine Westwood

Nadine is a health coach and writer who helps her clients achieve phenomenal and sustainable results by combining nutrition, fitness and fun! She believes primarily in living a happy life, and that the backbone of any lifestyle is that it must be sustainable and enjoyable.

Gratitude, it turns out, is more than just good manners; it’s good for your health too! Loads of research support the idea that simply being thankful for the good stuff can lift your spirits. Let’s be real, though – keeping your chin up is not always a walk in the park. We’ve all had those days where finding the silver lining feels like a Herculean task. But here’s the good news: the more you train your brain to spot the sunshine, the brighter your days become. Now, that’s a positive practice worth trying, right? In this piece, we’re diving into the world of moms and gratitude. From building stronger bonds to beefing up your mental toughness, we’re here to guide you in working out those gratitude muscles daily!

Gratitude Helps You Build More Relationships

A study found that gratitude can make you more popular. A mom who says “thank you” to acquaintances can make them more likely to seek ongoing friendship. This makes sense, as verbal gratitude shows you acknowledge the other person’s effort! 

Gratitude Can Improve Physical Health

Believe it or not, grateful people experience fewer physical symptoms when compared to their non-grateful counterparts. A study found that grateful people are more likely to care for their health better. They exercise more often and attend more regular physician checkups.

Gratitude Improves Mental Health

For years, researcher Robert Emmons has documented the connection between gratitude and mental health. His research found that grateful people are more likely to be happy and less likely to be depressed because they focus less on the negatives.

Gratitude Increases Mental Fortitude

Experiencing and reliving trauma isn’t easy. Fortunately, gratitude has been proven to lower rates of PTSD and improve resilience. Practicing gratitude is the hardest thing to do when you’re depressed, but with time and help from professionals, you can change your mindset.

Gratitude Enhances Empathy and Reduces Aggression

Grateful people are more likely to be empathic and exhibit less aggression. If you count your blessings, you have an easier time empathizing with people. When you understand why a person acts a certain way, you will probably not react aggressively to their actions. 

Gratitude Helps You Sleep Better

Being grateful also helps moms sleep at night, and that’s important for mums with newborns! A study on how gratitude influences sleep found that feeling grateful before going to bed improves sleep quality, so consider writing in a graduate journal before hitting the hay.

Gratitude Can Improve Your Self-Esteem

A study focused on athletes found that gratitude increases their self-esteem, which helps them improve their performance. Instead of being resentful, grateful people are appreciative of other people’s accomplishments. This inevitably improves their self-esteem and self-worth. 

How Moms Can Practice Gratitude for Themselves and Others

Give Personalized Gifts and Thank-You Notes

When a loved one does something kind for a mama, it can be heartwarming to reciprocate with an appreciative note or a custom-made present. Research published in Japanese Psychological Research on 07 July 2023 illustrates how fostering a sense of gratitude can begin with creating personalized gifts as a token of appreciation. Endeavor to remember this golden rule: the joyful experience of giving back often proves more rewarding than receiving, eliciting feelings of contentment and fulfillment.

Moreover, this gratitude practice can be a beautiful example for kids, fostering their empathy and generosity. So, go ahead and send a heartfelt thanks – it’s the little things that make the big difference.

Keep a Gratitude Journal by Your Bed

A gratitude journal is a great way to share the most intimate thoughts inside your head. Journaling can be a great tool to help with everything from postpartum depression to improving your immune system. There’s no right or wrong way to journal, either.

But if you need help, start by writing down everything you’re grateful for before bed. Start by writing for 5, then 10, then 15 minutes. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, write for less time. Read your notes back whenever you need a pick-me-up. 

Meditate on Your Relationships

No one is perfect, so there may be times when you haven’t shown gratitude when it was appropriate. This includes showing gratitude to yourself. Think about your relationships and see where you may have been able to show gratitude. Meditation can help with this task.

Once you’ve seen where improvements could be made, make an effort to change. Remind yourself to say thank you more often or commit to saying ten grateful things per day. If you have some room in your schedule, you could volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter.

Remember the Bad Times to See a Contrast

Ruminating on the negative isn’t a good idea, but reflecting on how you overcame a difficult time can make you more grateful. After all, if you could get through that difficult time, you’ll likely be able to get through this one. If anything, it can create an illuminating contrast.

Try to remember how you felt during that bad situation. Were you focusing on the negative or appreciating life for what it was? If you experienced the former, you can avoid that kind of thinking in the future. Be aware of these negative emotions when they show up. 

Watch What You Say 

Many of us can repeat toxic patterns of behavior without realizing it. Negative speech is one of those things. If you say things about yourself that would hurt others or you have a pattern of pointing out other people’s flaws, you could worsen depression and harm your relationships

Using neutral language when things go wrong can help you express gratitude to yourself, but don’t forget about others. Always make time to acknowledge the good in other people. If others use negative speech, remind them to be kind to themselves and forgive their actions. 

In Conclusion… 

With all the research-backed evidence presented, it’s undeniable that embracing gratitude offers countless benefits for every mom. Start implementing these simple yet powerful practices in your daily routine and experience a noticeable shift in your overall perspective of life.