Gratitude has become one of the most suggested practices for a happy life. In this post I’m going to give you the benefits of gratitude so that you can learn for yourself why this practice is vital. I’ll also give you ideas of different ways you can incorporate the powerful practice of gratitude into your daily life!
What is gratitude?
“Gratitude is the act of feeling and communicating appreciation for the people, circumstances and material possessions in our lives,” according to Forbes. It is all encompassing though, because gratitude can be defined as a virtue and an attitude too. Gratitude has been incorporated in a variety of world religions including Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism and Hinduism. Therefore, it has been practiced all over the world for thousands of years, according to The Greater Good Science Center.
Benefits of gratitude
The benefits of practicing gratitude continue to be studied being that the results are typically very positive. This has caused a movement in the self-development space and it seems that gratitude has become one of the most recommended practices. There are a variety of books written on this topic as well as blogs and other content.
Some benefits are the following:
- Improves happiness-gratitude releases serotonin and dopamine, causing
- Increases self-esteem-being grateful for your current circumstances helps one feel better about themselves
- Improves relationships-it is a no brainer that practicing gratitude towards friends and loved ones will improve the quality of those relationships
- Decreases materialism-being grateful and appreciative for your material things minimizes the “need” to obtain more just for the sake of it
- Increases Spiritual connection-the feeling of gratitude can create a feeling of bliss and it increases our connection to all
- Improves health-gratitude can decrease depression and anxiety and improve sleep
It’s no surprise that successful people and celebrities incorporate gratitude in their morning routines. Oprah is one of the first people that introduced me to the benefits and practice of gratitude during an episode of her show. She has been one of the biggest advocates of gratitude and has been quoted to say, “I got everything because I practiced being grateful.”
Some ways you can practice gratitude
There are many different ways you can practice gratitude throughout your day. From simply saying “thank you” first thing upon waking up in the morning, to writing a detailed “thank you letter” at the end of your day before bed. Any and all ways will be beneficial.
One of my favorites is to write down a list of 10 things I’m grateful for (and why) every morning. After writing the list, I read it out loud with my hands on my heart and feel the gratitude soaring through my body. This practice starts off my day in a positive way! Also, since I’ve kept this habit for over a year now, I now have programmed my mind to experience more things to be grateful for so that I can add them to tomorrow’s list! 😉
Other ways to express gratitude:
- Before you eat, “send” gratitude to your food and water. Rub your hands together for a few seconds till you feel a sensation of warmth. Then place them above your plate of food and/or around your drink container while thinking thankful thoughts.
- Compliment your friends and loved ones. Thank them for mundane things you may have overlooked or taken for granted in the past (i.e responding to your texts when they didn’t have to, etc).
- Go on a nature walk and be fully present. Appreciate the absolute beauty the gift of nature is.
- During your shower, thank and appreciate every part of your body while you wash it and while you’re moisturizing afterwards. We tend to take our physical bodies for granted.
- While you’re driving, go on a “gratitude rampage” lol. Start saying any and every thing you’re thankful for that comes to mind. From the weather and paved roads, to your hands, feet and vision that allow you to drive on your own.
- Keep a gratitude stone or amethyst crystal in your pocket or purse. Every time you encounter it throughout your day, use it as a reminder to be grateful for something.
- Listen to gratitude affirmations on YouTube. Do this in the mornings while you’re getting ready for your day, while driving, or when you’re doing chores around the house.
These are just a couple examples of things you can do during your day to get into a thankful state. Everything is a blessing. With practice, you’ll notice more and more things to be grateful for!
THANK YOU for reading my blog! Thank you thank you thank you! I appreciate you! 🙂 Hopefully now you know the benefits of gratitude and how life changing this practice can be. You can implement it in your morning routine or before you go to sleep. Just like other habits, it takes practice and work to cement them in your daily routine, but it IS possible. Once you start to practice gratitude, I’m sure you’ll feel a shift and will continue to live from that place of awareness and appreciation.
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