Do you want to get healthier and happier with gratitude?
Expressing gratitude can improve your life in all areas, including your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
What’s gratitude? Gratitude is showing appreciation for what’s in your life and being thankful. You’re familiar with giving thanks at Thanksgiving, right? Well, research shows that expressing gratitude daily can positively impact your health and happiness.
Benefits of Gratitude
Studies show that counting blessings instead of burdens can improve health on a physical, emotional, and mental level. It can benefit your energy, mindset, relationships, self-esteem, resilience, and overall wellbeing. A regular gratitude practice can also help you sleep better, decrease stress, reduce anxiety, and strengthen immunity.
It can even benefit your brain. Expressing gratitude can activate reward pathways in the brain. This can boost serotonin, your feel-good neurotransmitter. When you feel grateful, your neurons start to fire and wire together to recreate that feeling more.
When you shift your focus from being frustrated with what you lack to being thankful for what you have, you instantly feel happier.
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.”
Gratitude can be found by simply changing 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 helps you view setbacks, failures or negative experiences as opportunities for growth and learning. Giving thanks is the ultimate 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
Use gratitude as a daily mental tool you can use to remind yourself of the good stuff you’re surrounded by but often forget or take for granted. If you can make it a habit, you’ll be more likely to get through the hard times easier and enjoy the good times even more.
No matter how you choose to express yourself or how little time you spend doing it, the important thing is that you do it regularly. Expressing gratitude can be done at any time, anywhere. Here are some ways to cultivate more gratitude in your life every day…
Keep a Journal
One of the easiest ways to incorporate 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 that happen in our lives, but it’s just as important to write down the little things too.
“Enjoy the little things. For one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
Be specific with what you write and challenge yourself to explore new areas to keep it fresh. Focus on people and experiences over possessions.
Bless Your Food
Another easy way to express gratitude is by giving thanks and blessing your food before you eat. This helps you eat more mindfully and one study found it can even enhance the flavor of food. You can even include others by sharing gratitude 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. It will help strengthen your relationships and inspire more to be thankful for. You can also write a thank-you letter to yourself or someone else. Express your appreciation in detail. You might make someone else’s day… or even 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 YouTube Gratitude Short Film by Louie Schwartzberg