What is gratitude practice? How grateful would you consider yourself? Are you constantly giving thanks for things both big and small? Do you take time
What Is Gratitude?
The Harvard Medical School defines gratitude as “a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.”
There’s always something to be thankful for. This is something that those who regularly engage in gratitude understand.
There’s a reason gratitude is an integral aspect of countless spiritual traditions, central to many religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and more. It allows us to appreciate the intricate connection we have to life, inspiring us to feel more alive and appreciative of the precious gifts life contains.
The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
Regularly giving thanks can change your life — like seriously
Gratitude Improves Your Mood
Can being grateful really make you a happier person? Researchers say yes. Robert Emmons is a leading gratitude expert who has conducted significant research on the subject of gratitude and well-being and has discovered that gratitude does
Gratitude Is Good for Achieving Goals
Something else Emmons has discovered? Gratitude can help you achieve your goals. In one study, he found that individuals who kept gratitude lists made more progress towards meeting their personal goals over a two-month time period than those who listed their troubles or nothing at all. Want to crush your goals and succeed at what you’ve set out to do? Being grateful could help.
Gratitude Might Improve Your Physical Health
Research shows that grateful people also experience better physical health. A 2012 project that had participants keep an online gratitude journal reported better health, including fewer headaches, stomachaches, coughs and sore throats.
It’s also said that people who are grateful are more likely to take better care of their physical health, exercise more often and get regular checkups.
Gratitude Can Help You Get Better Sleep
Sleep deprivation is real. Gratitude could help. A 2009 study discovered that gratitude can lead to better sleep quality and sleep duration. It can also lead to less daytime dysfunction caused by a lack of sleep. Stuck counting sheep each night? Try spending 15 minutes writing about what you’re grateful for each night before going to bed. You might just fall asleep faster and sleep longer, which is definitely something to be thankful for.
Gratitude Can Improve Your Relationships
Gratitude inspires more social behavior and has shown
You would think
Interested in personally discovering just how beneficial a gratitude practice can be? Check out the following tips for cultivating a personal gratitude practice. It could just change your life.
5 Tips for Cultivating a Personal Gratitude Practice
1. Give Thanks for Everything Throughout the Day
Those with a gratitude practice give thanks for everything, not just life’s biggest pleasures. Give thanks for everything you can think of each day, and you’ll find your life slowly begin to transform.
There’s nothing too small when it comes to gratitude. A good night’s sleep. Warm, running water. A roof over your head. Food in your fridge. The unconditional love of your animals. Start to give thanks for everything throughout each day. You’ll likely discover there’s a lot more to be thankful for than you initially thought.
2. Appreciate Everything, Even Life’s Challenges
Don’t just save your gratitude for the good. Cultivating a gratitude practice involves learning to appreciate everything, even the challenges we all regularly face. Hate your job? Having a grateful attitude about it can lead to something better. Has it been snowing for days and you’re unhappy about the weather? Be grateful you’re warm and have shelter. Others aren’t so fortunate.
It isn’t exactly easy to appreciate the curveballs life throws at us, but they are part of life. When we acknowledge them with a different attitude, it can help us appreciate other aspects of our life we might’ve taken for granted.
What You’re Thankful for in a Gratitude Journal Down
Several studies have shown the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal. Not only will
There’s real power in putting pen to paper
Some people find this practice helpful before going to bed each night, as they can gather positive experiences as they reflect on their day. Maybe for you, writing in a gratitude journal becomes part of a mindful morning routine. There’s no right or wrong, just a willingness to express your thanks on paper.
4. Regularly Express Your Thanks to Others
A great way to cultivate a regular gratitude practice is by expressing your thanks to others. Remember, happiness only increases when shared. Not only will expressing your thanks to others make someone’s day, but it will also help instill your practice deeper and ultimately give you more reasons to be thankful.
Begin communicating your thanks to others on a regular basis and watch your world and the world around you brighten up a bit.
5. Engage in a Mindful Practice of Gratitude Each Day
Time for Thankfulness
Cultivating your own gratitude practice can change your life. Once you
In the words of Willie Nelson, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”
Honestly, we’ve experienced the same.
Do you have a personal gratitude practice? We’d love to hear about the different ways you give thanks in the comments below.