Some people suggest that the best thing you can wear is a smile. But is that really it? I have known many people who smile all of the time but were emotionally exhausting to talk to because they were always upset about something. Just think, gratitude exudes an essence that makes you beautiful. If you don’t believe me, just hear me out!
Gratitude improves your joy
A study at the School of Psychology at Eastern Washington University found that gratitude was directly correlated with increased joy and overall well-being. Joyful people are easier to be with, generally, and easier to talk to. These are considerably attractive qualities! Think of people you know, which ones seem to be the most beautiful? I would predict the happier people.
Showing appreciation builds connections
Believe it or not, when you show people appreciation, particularly verbally, while you may worry it makes them feel awkward, there is a low chance it actually does. Most people feel happy and surprised to receive gracious words from others. This kind of prosocial behavior improves relationships and makes you more approachable and attractive.
Gratitude changes your attitude
Promising studies show that general daily practices of gratitude will actually greatly improve appreciation for your body. These improvements helped women in the study to overcome eating disorders and develop healthy eating and exercising habits. Think of how this can help you in other ways in your life as well! Gratitude can help you overcome other difficult situations you may be struggling with, increase your self-confidence, and give you hope for a brighter future. And if there is something we really know- and Amy Schumer taught us in her movie I Feel Pretty- people who love themselves are considerably the most beautiful.
Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving today, take some time to enjoy your day and be thankful for what you have. It’s amazing how even deciding to be grateful for the little things- indoor plumbing, streetlights, insulation- can really help you find light in the darkest of days.
Watkins, P. C., Emmons, R. A., Greaves, M. R., & Bell, J. (2018). Joy is a distinct positive emotion: Assessment of joy and relationship to gratitude and well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 13(5), 522–539. https://doi-org.libezp.lib.lsu.edu/10.1080/17439760.2017.1414298
Kumar, A., & Epley, N. (2018). Undervaluing gratitude: Expressers misunderstand the consequences of showing appreciation. Psychological Science, 29(9), 1423–1435. https://doi-org.libezp.lib.lsu.edu/10.1177/0956797618772506
Homan, K. J., & Tylka, T. L. (2018). Development and exploration of the gratitude model of body appreciation in women. Body Image, 25, 14–22. https://doi-org.libezp.lib.lsu.edu/10.1016/j.bodyim.2018.01.008