Being grateful benefits all areas of your life, including your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Get healthier and happier with gratitude now! First, what’s gratitude? It’s showing appreciation for what’s in your life and being thankful. You’re familiar with giving thanks at Thanksgiving. Research shows that daily gratitude can positively impact your health and happiness. Being grateful benefits your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Benefits of Gratitude
Start practicing gratitude with the helpful tips below.
Counting blessings instead of burdens can improve physical, emotional, and mental health. The contrast between these perspectives is enormous. First, reflect on a time when you felt stressed. You probably felt physical pain and emotionally reactive. Then, reflect when you felt overjoyed with appreciation. You likely felt light, peaceful, and content. The good news is that you can quickly shift from being a Debbie-Downer to an absolute delight just by shifting your focus to gratitude. Try writing in a gratitude journal, listening to gratitude-based meditations, and using heart coherence techniques.
Being grateful benefits your energy, mindset, relationships, self-esteem, resilience, and overall well-being. A regular gratitude practice can benefit sleep better, stress, anxiety, and immunity. Expressing gratitude can support cognition by activating reward pathways in the brain and boosting serotonin, your feel-good neurotransmitter. When you feel grateful, your neurons fire and wire together to recreate that feeling. What you appreciate appreciates. In other words, when you’re grateful, you create more opportunities to be grateful.
You instantly feel happier when you shift your focus from being frustrated with what you lack to being grateful for what you have.
Harvard Health says, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” “It is not happiness that brings us gratitude. It is gratitude that brings us happiness.” — Unknown.
This simple practice of expressing appreciation can completely transform your attitude. Keeping a gratitude journal shifts your focus from any problems you’re dealing with to more positive areas of your life. It helps you get perspective and recognize the “good stuff.”
Being grateful can change the way you look at the world. Shifting your focus and viewing life through the lens of appreciation can help you get through hard times by upgrading your perspective. It enables you to view setbacks, failures, or negative experiences as opportunities for growth and learning. Giving thanks is the best way to clear your head and fill your heart. “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – Proverb.
Being Grateful — Daily Practice
Being grateful is a great daily practice. You can use gratitude as a daily mental tool to remind yourself of the good stuff you’re surrounded by but often forget or take for granted. If you can make gratitude a habit, you’ll be more likely to get through the hard times and enjoy the good times even more. Being grateful is a powerful ally for dealing with stress too.
No matter how you choose to express yourself or how little time you spend doing it, the important thing is that you practice being grateful regularly. Expressing gratitude can be done at any time, anywhere. Below are ways to cultivate more gratitude in your life every day.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
One of the easiest ways to practice gratitude is to keep a journal. Write down at least five things you’re grateful for daily. We often think of giving thanks for the big things in our lives, but it’s just as important to write down the little things too. Be specific with your writing and challenge yourself to explore new areas to keep it fresh. Focus on people and experiences over possessions. “Enjoy the little things. For one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
Bless Your Food
Another easy way to express gratitude is to give thanks and bless your food before you eat. Being grateful helps you eat more mindfully; one study found it can enhance food flavor. You can even include others by sharing a gratitude practice at dinner.
Say thank you. Whether you say thank you to yourself or others, those two simple words can set you on a path of gratitude. Being grateful will help strengthen your relationships and inspire more to be thankful. Express your appreciation in detail by writing a thank-you letter to yourself or someone else. You might make someone else’s day or your own!
Meditation brings you back to the present moment. It helps you get out of your head and into your heart. When you live more from your heart, you’re able to shift to a sense of love and gratitude. Meditation can help you clear your mind and focus on what you’re grateful for.
Watch this beautiful Short Film by Louie Schwartzberg.