The Healing Power of Gratitude – How it Helps

The Healing Power of Gratitude

Have you ever wondered how  gratitude can make any difference? The healing power of gratitude is something that can often be misunderstood and unappreciated.

the healing power of gratitude

Seeing news events where refugees are displaced, war torn zones of Iraq, African civil wars, and closer to home child abuse, domestic violence, shootings, drug addiction among many other issues that people face, it’s hard to know how to deal with all of these sad events knowing that we are limited with our capacity to stop the pain. There are many ways we can show our love and compassion. Shifting our own energy and looking for volunteer opportunities and donation opportunities can help various groups around the world. I know we can’t change the whole world or donate to every charity we come across. What I’m suggesting here is simply considering our own fortune, privilege  and what we have can help us be more aware and consider finding a purpose to give and show compassion within our capacity.

When we think about just how much we do have, this can help us build on our compassion for others, and opens us to considering others perspectives and circumstances. This helps build on kindness and love for each other. I know each person’s circumstances are different, but it’s also about perspective. While some might have the latest iphone and sports car, another person can appreciate and be grateful for a second hand phone and a car that gets them from A to B. You don’t have to have a big house, expensive clothes and the latest stuff. Simply thinking of what you do have can help you feel more thankful for your own circumstances and build on compassion for others.

What is Gratitude

Gratitude is the feeling of being thankful for what you have in your life. Both physical, psychological and spiritual. Gratitude can be for circumstances rather than material things. It is a feeling that produces longer lasting positive emotions which has a positive effect on behaviour. According to the Harvard Medical School is,

‘a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals–whether to other people, nature, or a higher power’.

the healing power of gratitude

How can it heal?

Healing here is in the sense of our mental health and well being. We are a whole person with physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects. It is thought that our emotions can show themselves through our physical health too. According to the late Louise Hay when there is emotional disease, there is physical disease. One of her 100 quotes is, ‘my happy thoughts help create my healthy body’. Louise Hay believed that when we have negative emotions, they will show themselves in our physical body. So if you practice gratitude regularly, this can help heal your body as it can lift your emotions and help you practice self love and compassion.

Practicing gratitude can also increase feelings of love for those around us. This in turn increases our interactions with others, our energy and how we communicate. It also builds on our social connection with those around us.

Through gratitude or appreciation one can build on one’s spirituality and be grateful for breathing and being on this earth. It can be a rewarding feeling too.

It is based on giving of oneself in some way selflessly without expecting anything in return.

Either through positive thoughts or through positive interactions with others. This can heal social connections and nurture relationships.  Being connected with others is essential to our general well being. Those without social connections struggle with their well being. As human beings we need to have social interactions of some kind. When we incorporate consciously building on increasing feelings of gratitude, we can build on our social connections with others, thus enhancing our personal well being.

Since gratitude can help boost one’s mood and create positive feelings, incorporating the practice of gratitude on a regular basis can be a strategy among various treatments to help support someone suffering from this complicated illness. Those who practice gratitude have also been shown to have a positive satisfaction to life.

What else can it do?

Gratitude can help to shift your mood. If you’ve ever found yourself feeling cranky or upset with something, it can be quite a challenge to shift those feelings. Especially if you feel hard done by, or that you’re not at fault for whatever the incident was. Instead, gratitude fosters positivity in those who practice it on a regular basis. Positivity has also been shown with improving one’s health through being able to make healthy choices.

I’ve even talked about this with my children as they often have lots of feelings including frustration. When we drive in the car, or sitting together on the lounge, it’s a good time for us to talk about and say at least one thing we each grateful for. This helps us bond with our children. It can also help them develop using gratitude as a strategy if they have a hard time with something they come across in their world.

Practicing gratitude can have a positive effect on our optimism.

Increased Happiness – Those who practice gratitude also feel happier within themselves. Research has also shown that this feeling lasts for a weeks.


Gratitude is often linked with manifesting something you want in life. This is based on physics where everything is energy. When one practices building on feelings of gratitude, one can manifest things they want in life. This might be in the area of improved friendships, attracting a partner, increasing wealth or improving health.

How to Practice Gratitude

Gratitude can be practiced in many different ways. Here’s a list of things that you can be grateful for just to get you started.

I am grateful for:-

  • a roof over my head
  • the career I have chosen
  • the support I have available to me
  • my health
  • my family
  • fabulous friends

These are just a few examples to get you thinking about the possibilities. I’m sure you can come up with numerous more, many and varied things that are relevant for you.

Journal: Some people find it helpful to write in a journal, either upon waking up, to start the new day or before going to bed. Both of these times help set up your mood for your day.

Before Sleep: What we think about before we go to sleep is very important as those thoughts get marinated for the next 8 hours. So practicing gratitude before going to sleep at night can help you have a restful, pleasant sleep and wake up in a positive mood.

Throughout the Day: On our way to work, driving, on the train or bus, we can practice and think about things we are grateful for.

When Feeling Stressed: When you notice your thoughts having a negative effect on your mood, it can help to think about something we are grateful for.

Guided Meditation: Some people like to practice gratitude with the help of a guided meditation. Here’s one of my favorite youtube people Jason Stephenson sharing his thoughts on gratitude.



I hope you have found some value in discovering the healing power of gratitude. What have you noticed when practicing gratitude yourself? Leave your comments below.


the healing power of gratitude

26 Replies to “The Healing Power of Gratitude – How it Helps”

  1. HIi Kat!
    Very well written article. While reading your article i realized that without me knowing i was in actual fact always doing what you said we should try and i can testify that everything(or most in my case)is true and works. Thank you for sharing this amazing info with us.

    1. Hi Junaid, thanks heaps for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. that’s amazing that you’ve been doing this already, well done! I guess now you’re more aware of it, so now you can consciously practice it if ever you find yourself struggling. It’s great to hear that you’ve found it is something that works for you :). Cheers ~kat

  2. Hi Kat,
    Reading your article, I felt mixed emotions. Every one of us has experienced ups and downs in our lives. During the good times, like when we don’t have problems with health and money, it’s easy to have a feeling of gratitude. But during the bad times when we are broke and sick, it’s the opposite. Truly, gratitude is the most important virtue. It is a positive feeling. Positive feeling is good for our health. But it’s hard to practice in some circumstances. When negative things happen- we are struggling to express our gratitude. For good or bad things that happen around, we must be thankful to our God for just allowing it to happen. Because He is in full control of our lives.

    Warm regards,

    1. Hi Elilio, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, it can be easier to practice gratitude when things are going well. When things aren’t so good, it’s harder to practice especially if there is heartache and pain. It’s okay to struggle during these challenging times, it helps make us human, and if you can practice gratitude when you’re ready, then it can help with shifting those emotions to a lighter side to get you through. All the best.

  3. Hi Kat, thank you for this nice article and the reminder to practice gratitude on a regular basis.
    How easy we forget this as we are living in a busy and stressful world. I agree that when we do give, we do this “From the heart” without expecting anything in return. In Thailand we have something called Tambun, giving to the less fortunate as a thanks for what we have. If we all give a little it makes a big difference to those who have much less. I do practice gratitude but not often enough which after reading this article I will put back on top of my daily “to do” list.
    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Jacky, thanks for sharing. What wonderful acts of kindness you do for others without any expectations of anything in return. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and kindness. Yes, sharing gratitude is another act of kindness, both internal and external of ourselves, so it helps us with our mood as well as builds on our compassion. All the best incorporating it consciously into your daily routine. Thanks for your kindness in sharing your thoughts too :).

  4. Hi Kat,
    Great article, very detailed, very well written. I believe in and practice gratitude every day. Before I go to sleep at nite I say in my head thanks for…like the video and that Im blessed. It is hard some days when you hear the bad things in the world, as you talked about, but you have to get it out of your head, step away, take a deep breath and remind yourself how blessed you are to be living in peace, free, no bombings and be thankful for your life, your family, friends and your 4 legged friends. Thank you for writing this. Sue 🙂

    1. Hi Sue, thanks for stopping by. Great to hear your experience on practicing gratitude. It really does help get into a good head space when we practice it on a regular basis. All the best ~kat

  5. Hi Kat,
    A lovely article and very timely for me. I’m often too busy to stop to think about all the things I can and should be grateful for.
    I completely agree with you about how showing gratitude can improve your life in so many ways. It really does heal your life.
    I so enjoyed reading this today.
    all the best,

  6. Hey I love your content and the topic you decided to pick. Gratitude is something that people always seem to overlook so I appreciate this content !
    Great work !

    1. Hi Daniel, thanks for sharing. Gratitude is something close to my heart as I feel it can be a turning point for times when people are suffering, so it can be a useful tool in shifting one’s focus and soothing. ~kat

  7. Hi, thank you for this article. It made me think long and hard for everything I am grateful for. I have been dealing with stressful situations including losing a loved one and she would always be grateful for life, love and everything that surround her. She was the happiest person I’ve ever known and I think being grateful had so much to do with it. It’s a shame that I don’t see life as she saw it but I do my best to try. Thanks again for this article. It was lovely.

    1. Hi Sandy, thanks for sharing your challenges. Loss and grief is so hard to sit with. It also affects everyone differently. It’s important to grieve, and okay to feel whatever you feel. I like that you are able to see it from her point of view and recognise her gratitude in life. Well done for shifting your thoughts around the situation. Be kind to yourself too during this difficult time too ~kat

  8. Hi Kat, this article is a must read for all of us. We sometimes spend time moaning about how bad life is treating us, without remembering the soo many good things life might have provided us. We just need to remember that there is someone somewhere who wishes to be in our shoes.
    Your tips on how to practise gratitude were absolutely spot-on! I am definitely sharing this article with friends and family. It was very informative. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Daniel, thanks for stopping by. It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity as our minds, so it does help to have a way to shift that and focus on something else such as gratitude. Thanks for the feedback. I hope your friends and family can benefit from this too. ~kat

  9. I really enjoyed reading your article. Sometime life can throw us for a loop and it is hard to focus on anything other than your current situation. By changing our focus to gratitude, I think you can change your whole outlook on the negative situation and help you be able to cope with your current situation with more of a positive outlook. Thanks again for the article. I wish more people would take time to read it.

    1. Hi Jan, thanks heaps for your comments. I agree with you, that there are usually 2 sides to any situation, so looking at the positive side instead of the negative can help one see it from a different perspective. I too hope more people will be able to come across my site haha! Thanks for the support, namaste ~kat

  10. Hi Kat,

    Thanks for a great article, I enjoyed reading it.

    I practice being grateful every day. I always start and finish my day by journaling about the things I’m grateful for – even with the smaller things in life, like “I’m grateful for coffee” 🙂

    By expressing gratitude, the problems that I may face in my life, don’t seem so big.

    Thanks for a great reminder 🙂

    1. Hi Gaylene, thanks for sharing your experience with gratitude. It’s great to hear that you practice it on a daily basis. I too include the small things like my cup of tea lol! It’s great that you have found that practicing gratitude shifts the way you view problems. It’s a great perspective shifter hey! Thanks for contributing to the discussion. ~kat

  11. Hi Kat, Thank you so much for sharing this! For me I thought, at least in the beginning, it was very difficult to practice gratitude because I just didn´t want to be grateful. Maybe it seems a bit silly but that is just how it was.. I just couldn’t see why I should be grateful. Nowadays I practice gratitude almost every day.
    I wanted to reach out and say thank you for reminding me to keep up and why it is so important!

    1. Hi Ellen, thanks for sharing your experience of gratitude. It can be a bit of a process to understand what’s the big deal about gratitude, thanks for sharing this as a possibility. Well done for being able to reflect and realise the value in practicing gratitude on a regular basis. It can have such a positive effect on how one feels. All the best ~kat

  12. Hi Kat and thank you for posting this. It is a confirmation that I need to be more diligent with my gratitude journal.

    I have found that gratitude is healing me of many things lately and I just want to encourage everyone to keep a gratitude journal. When you see the miracles happen in your life, you will know how awesome gratitude is!

    1. Hi Irma, thanks for leaving a comment.It’s great to hear that gratitude is helping you heal many things in our life. Gratitude is so important and is such a valuable tool for working on our self development and being in this world. Blessings ~kat

  13. Hi Kat,

    Thank you for the informative post.

    I have a gratitude journal. It is very important to state all of the things that you are grateful for each day. Everyday is filled with so much gratitude that it helps to soften the bad or misfortunate incidents if the day. Because when you are concentrating on the good you have less focus on the bad.

    If more people in this world were more grateful for the things that they have this would be a much better world to live in. Everyone seems to be in such a hurry nowadays that practicing gratitude is not even on their radar.

    I loved reading this article and I a grateful that you wrote it. Thank you for sharing the fact that gratitude can be healing.


    1. Thank you Brenda for your kind words and gratitude. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and contributing to my post. It’s great that you write in a gratitude journal. It’s true, it really can help reduce one’s negative focus and boost positive energy instead. ~kat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.