Did you know that gratitude has huge health benefits?? It’s true.
The practice of gratitude:
- blocks adverse emotions (envy, resentment, regret, depression, anxiety, shame)
- fosters resiliency
- strengthens social ties
- increases self-compassion and self-worth
- allows for us to be more mindful/present, thus reducing anxiety
- increases productivity, decision-making skills, and goal achievement
- makes us more optimistic
- makes us more likeable to others
- decreases materialism and self-centeredness
- helps us sleep better and increases energy levels
- improves our physical health (studies show that those who engage in gratitude practices feel less pain, go to the doctor less often, have lower blood pressure, and be less likely to develop a mental disorder)
- makes us more likely to exercise and eat healthier
What’s great about gratitude is that is does not cost anything or require you do be in a certain place. You can practice gratitude ANYWHERE. I often practice gratitude in my car (see here for my gratitude exercise: https://blacksheepcounselling.com/2017/04/perks/)
Another gratitude practice that my partner and I do is write things down throughout the year that we are grateful for. These are collected in a big accessible jar. Sometimes they are big events, such as completing a big project, but they could just as easily be something seemingly small (but can be even more impactful), such as an unexpected phone call from an old friend that lifts our spirits at precisely the right time. At the end of the year (usually on New Year’s Day), we read the gratitude writings and reminisce about the special moments we experienced throughout the year.
What are some ways that you practice gratitude?