Gratitude is an essential, but often overlooked, component of our mental health. Over the past few years, I have made important shifts in my mindset which include expressing gratitude every day. In doing so I have slowly seen changes to my health and well-being, and I want to inspire YOU to practice gratitude more so you can experience the same benefits. I can honestly say I have experienced all of these benefits of gratitude and it feels amazing!
10 Positive Effects of Gratitude Practice:
Gratitude improves your physical health
Experts believe that gratitude actually improves one’s physical health. When you are grateful for your health you are more apt to exercise, eat well and avoid things like smoking and alcohol.
Gratitude makes us more optimistic
When you change your mindset from a “glass half empty” to a “glass half full” mindset, you become more optimistic, in turn being happier and healthier.
Gratitude makes us happier
It’s simple, really. When you appreciate all the little things in life you are happier, friendlier, more energetic, etc.
Gratitude improves self-esteem
When you are happy, optimistic and healthy your self-esteem will naturally increase improving your relationships, your confidence, and your productivity.
Gratitude improves your productivity
A happy, healthy, self-assured, energetic person is a focused and productive person.
Gratitude reduces aggression and frustration and increases empathy
When you practice gratitude daily your mindset gradually changes and you will experience less frustration and more understanding and compassion.
Gratitude improves sleep
When you’re grateful you are happy and optimistic; thus, you worry less and sleep better.
Gratitude improves relationships
When you appreciate your partner and your friends, they, in turn, appreciate you. You can better let go of the little things that may frustrate you and focus on the positive attributes of your partner or friend.
The awareness of what we are grateful for can lessen the feeling of wanting more all the time
You may find that things you once wanted (a bigger house, a new car, your dream vacation) are no longer as important as you find more appreciation for what you have.
Expressing gratitude makes us better parents
Being grateful helps us to raise confident, optimistic, healthy, happy, and grateful children. What more reason do you need!?
How to Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude isn’t hard, but for some, it requires a major mindset shift. If you are negative and more apt to look at the glass as half empty, than half full, changing your mindset may be more challenging.
Here are a few ways you can practice gratitude:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Check out the Life Well Designed Journal where you can track your gratitude, thoughts and hold yourself accountable for your self-care and personal development.
- Join the paper crane movement – I’ve teamed up with my friend, Jenn, over at Origami Twist and we’re on a mission to inspire gratitude one paper crane at a time. We are challenging everyone to give away 10 paper cranes and start a movement! Check it out here.
- When you find yourself in a bad situation ask yourself – what can I learn from this?
- Make a vow to yourself not to complain or criticize for a week. If you slip up – give yourself grace and keep trying.
- Send someone a card just because.
- Send a text message to someone and tell them how much you appreciate them. Better yet, pick up the phone and call them!
- Make a goal to compliment at least one person each day.
- Start a gratitude tree – cut a trunk and branches out of construction paper and tape it to a wall or window. Cut some colored leaves and help your children write down something they are grateful for every day. Add it to your tree and watch it grow!
- Create a blessings jar – Find a jar and cut up some scraps of paper. Write down something you are grateful for each day and add it to the jar. If you are struggling with your mindset or doubt, pull out the pieces one by one to remind yourself of your many blessings.
How do you practice gratitude? Leave a comment below.
For more inspiration to help you with a positive mindset check out: