Wellness Wednesday Tip – Gratitude
There are many benefits to practicing gratitude. Keeping a gratitude journal and writing for around five minutes a day about things we are grateful for has been shown to enhance long-term happiness by over 10%. Gratitude can also help us experience more positive emotions and allow us to reflect on our lives in a more positive way. A regular gratitude practice can influence well-being, mental strength, and psychological health. A state of gratitude is something we can attain with daily practice.
In addition to the above benefits, gratitude can make us more resilient and reduce envy. A study has shown that participants who completed a four-week gratitude program experienced greater life satisfaction and reported higher self-esteem. Other evidence shows that a regular “attitude of gratitude” can help us sleep better, feel more alive, have stronger immune systems and better physical health, and experience more compassion and kindness towards ourselves and others.
There are some additional social benefits. A study showed that people who practice gratitude have a wider social network, better relationships, and more friends. Gratitude plays a key role in forming relationships, as well as in strengthening existing ones. Some other effects are improved relationships with significant others, increased social support, and strengthening family relationships in times of stress. The benefits of having a regular gratitude practice are endless.
Starting a gratitude practice can be challenging at first. So, how do you practice gratitude? Here are some tips:
Write down a few things (3-5) that you are grateful for every day. You can also write about experiences that happened to you or events that you are thankful for. Writing down good things each day makes it more likely that we will notice good things as they happen. Make this a regular practice.
2. Gratitude jar
Decorate a jar and fill it with daily things that you are grateful for. Watch the jar fill up over time! If you are feeling down or having a challenging fay, pick something out of the jar for a quick pick-me-up to remind yourself of the good things in your life.
3. Give back
Become involved in a cause that is meaningful to you. Giving back helps build a sense of community and purpose. It can also help you feel more fulfilled.
This concept is similar to gratitude practice with a journal but in picture form. Put together pictures of everything you are grateful for and see a visual representation of your gratitude. You can take a picture of something you are thankful for every week and add it to the collage. Take a moment to think about how each image makes you feel. Remember, these pictures don’t have to be of anything grandiose; they can be something simple. In turn, you will no longer take these simple things for granted.
5. Practice meditation
Gratitude meditations are a double win. You are practicing two important and impactful happiness practices. Being present in the moment instead of being focused on the past or future can help you become more grateful for what is and can shift your perspective in a positive way. In challenging moments, it will become easier to gently bring yourself back.