Ever wish you could take a magic pill that would help you sleep better, increase your kindness, and even help you make more money? Unfortunately, that pill does not exist, but there is a way you can reap these benefits. You might be asking what is this secret? It's simple, Gratitude. Gratitude is an emotion similar to appreciation, a feeling of thankfulness, especially in response to someone doing something kind or helpful. Gratitude is more than just a “thank you” when someone has helped you, it is a deeper appreciation for someone that will produce longer-lasting positivity. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives...as a result, gratitude helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals - whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.
Practicing gratitude can be a game-changer. Living your life with gratitude helps you notice the little wins, like finishing an assignment on time, a stranger holding the door for you, or the sun shining through your window when you wake up in the morning. Each of these small moments brings together a web of well-being that, over time, strengthens your ability to notice the good.
We now know what gratitude means but what does it do for us? According to Harvard Health gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It helps us feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve our health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Whether you're retrieving positive memories from the past and being grateful for your childhood, not taking good fortune for granted as it comes, or maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude for the future, these are all ways someone can express gratitude.
Recognizing all the benefits gratitude has here are 6 simple ways to practice daily gratitude:
Here are some prompts to help you get started:
In order to feel grateful in your current state, you need to remember the hard times that you once experienced. Once you realize how difficult life used to be and how far you've progressed, you set up a comparison in your mind, and this comparison is growing ground for gratitude.
Establish a daily routine in which you remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits, and good things you enjoy. Try to write at least 3 things you're grateful for, whether that being nature, people, community, shelter, or as simple as the comforts of a warm meal. Being able to recall moments of gratitude associated with random events, your personal attributes, or valued people in your life gives you the potential to create a sustainable theme of gratefulness into your life.
When you are going through a particularly rough time, try cleansing your mind with a gratitude walk. Walking is therapeutic in itself, it has health benefits like increased endorphins that decrease stress, increased heart health, and circulation in the body. The goal of the gratitude walk is to observe things you see around you as you walk. Take it all in. Be aware of nature, the sounds the birds make, the smell of plants, the colours of the trees. The effects are more potent when you can enjoy a gratitude walk with your friend or partner this way you can show them an appreciation for being able to spend time together.
Gratitude meditations are very beneficial for well-being. You are taking part in two of the most impactful happiness practices at the same time. Meditation can be difficult at times, especially when the mind is always wandering and distracting your attention, but if this is practiced consistently be prepared to experience incredible upgrades in gratitude and joy. You need to visualize all the things in your life that you are grateful for. It is important to give each person or item the concentration it deserves. You can take the time to go through all the people you are grateful for or all the physical objects you are grateful for.
While our days can be long and stressful, create a ritual every morning for yourself to help start your day on a positive note. Try to think of at least three things you are grateful for each morning whether it's while making your bed, brushing your teeth, or making breakfast. This starts your day off by grounding you with what you're thankful for, keeping you in a positive mindset to tackle your day.
E.g. I am thankful for my health, I am thankful for my family, and I am thankful for the ongoing support I have from friends.