Being thankful is one of the simplest ways to improve your overall health. The benefits that come with practicing gratitude are even backed by science. Conclusion? A grateful person is a happy person.
Expressing your gratitude is a little trick that costs little time, but can have a major effect on your overall well-being. Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits, and how you can get started yourself.
In 2011 a study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, found that spending as little as 15 minutes writing down your gratitude list before going to bed, improved the sleep quality significantly. If you struggle finding a good night’s rest, jotting down whatever it is your grateful for is well-worth giving a try.
Increases Mental Health
Practicing gratitude increases your focus on appreciable things in life, breaking your stream of thoughts about insecurities, worries and fears. This will lead into the ability of living a happier, more content life. Multiple studies of leading gratitude researcher Robert A. Emmons, confirmed a link between gratitude and overall well-being.
The feeling you have when being grateful for something can cause a snowball-effect, eventually leading to increased self-esteem. A study in 2014 published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology saw an increase in an athlete’s self-esteem when practicing gratitude. A difference in your outlook towards life may result in you feeling better, making healthier choices and therefore more focused on living your life to the fullest. This has a positive effect on your self-esteem and will lead towards becoming less resentful towards others.
A strong relationship is based on mutual trust. Grateful people have increased trust in others and are better in expressing their appreciation towards someone. According to Australian researchers of the University of New South Wales, this will eventually lead into individuals more likely seeking an ongoing relationship with grateful people. Being grateful can reinforce your bond with someone, preventing miscommunication or conflict, thus having a positive effect on existing relationships as well.
Ways to practice
Now that you’re motivated by the many benefits gratitude practicing holds, let’s go through some simple ways to reap those benefits and incorporate a practice in your daily life. Pick a way that fits your lifestyle best. If you don’t feel comfortable thanking people in person, stick to a more mental way of practicing. If your schedule is irregular and daily doesn’t work, practice once a week. There are endless ways to form a new habit, but we tend to stick to a way when it suits your personal lifestyle.
Make a habit out of writing down what you’re grateful for every day. If you use the Deep Meditate app, you can use the in-built mindful journal!
Incorporate gratitude in your meditation by focusing on something you’re grateful for during meditating.
Thank you notes
Write a note expressing your gratitude and appreciation towards a person that has had a positive impact on your life.
Count your blessings
Pick a specific number of things you’re grateful for that feels doable to you, and a time during the week to sit down and reflect on those things.
Think about someone who has positively contributed towards your life, thanking them mentally.
If you’re new to practicing gratitude, it’s completely normal for your mind to run blank every now and then. These affirmations can give you some inspiration if you feel stuck. Each one can be adjusted to your personal life and feelings. Make them as specific or as general as you prefer.
I am grateful I had a restful sleep last night.
I am thankful I can start my day energized and healthy.
I am appreciative of my positive contribution today.
I am grateful for my body.
I am thankful for the warmth of the sun.
I cherish the relationship I have with my partner.
I am thankful for being able to communicate with a dear friend.
I am appreciative of my ability to express myself creatively.
Have you tried any of the tools from this list? How do you practice gratitude? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments.