How Practicing Gratitude Can Change Your Life

“Gratefulness is the key to a happy life… because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy” ~ David Steindl-Rast


What is gratitude?


Gratitude is sincerely experiencing appreciation and thankfulness.


How does it help?


Gratitude has sooo many benefits, the main one being that it can improve your overall well being and can result in a more positive outlook on life {who doesn’t want that amiright}.

Research has shown that gratitude improves our health, relationships, personality, career, and emotions. Numerous studies have also shown that taking 5 minutes a day to write in a gratitude journal can increase your long term well-being by over 10%.


F-i-v-e minutes of gratitude a day has proven to increase your overall well-being!? Honestly I’m shook. This is something anyone can work into their schedule.


So now that we all know how amazing practicing gratitude is for your life and your well being, here are 6 tips on how to start incorporating it more into your life:


1. Keep a Gratitude Journal


Take 5 minutes each day to write down everything you feel grateful for. This can be anything that happened that day, anything that happened the day before that you are still grateful for, something big or something small – literally anything that you appreciate in your life you should write down.


2. Volunteer


Giving back can help you forget about those things that you don’t have and makes you appreciate and focus on what you do have.


3. Be Present


It’s tough to feel true gratitude when our attention is divided. Try to be more present throughout the day to appreciate things you may have started to take for granted.


4. Find the Silver Lining


Okay I’ll be honest here and say that I find the phrase “everything happens for a reason” to be super unhelpful because I feel like it’s way overused BUT I do think that it’s true. During hard times, instead of focusing on whatever it is you’re going through {and making the situation worse by hyper-focusing on the negative} - think about what lessons you can take away from this stressful situation. Anything you experience can teach you something.


5. Say Thank You


Say thank you more often – and mean it. Oftentimes, we are on autopilot when we are thanking others. Instead, turn off the autopilot to focus on and actually mean what you are saying.


6. Practice Acts of Gratitude


Let people know you are thankful for them. Send unexpected letters to family and friends or a quick email to a coworker letting you know how much they mean to you or how much you appreciate them.











References:

1. Happier Human. (2019). 31 benefits of gratitude: The ultimate science-backed guide. Retrieved from https://www.happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/

2. Lombardo. (2013). 7 ways to boost your gratitude. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gratitude_b_4339534?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAALlB_7MHHJ0maOWLG9q5KSmWMZZINbKZkFNdDyIrhs30irNJhhBhgU9eRM4QfJnokT0gDcbU_XjOryu76nJB2gXFIp4JIzW-cvOaNN4wuzMe-NUc_oOy8CfMM9uU71Rxou6JemDxoIbxhY5xRVwRiKm_YM4hr0nggabqJqkLgU9_

3. Miller. (2016). 8 ways to have more gratitude every day. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2016/07/08/8-ways-to-have-more-gratitude-every-day/#40c8e5851d54

4. Stoerkel. (2019). The science and research on gratitude and happiness. Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-happiness-research/

5. The Gratefulness Team. (n.d.). What is gratitude? Retrieved from https://gratefulness.org/resource/what-is-gratitude/


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