Most people are familiar with giving thanks at Thanksgiving, but research has found that expressing gratitude throughout the year can have a major impact on your health and happiness. Studies show that counting blessings instead of burdens can increase well-being, energy, and resilience. Regular gratitude practice can also help you sleep better, decrease stress, and strengthen immunity.
When you shift your focus from being frustrated with what you lack to being thankful for what you have, you automatically feel more satisfied. This simple practice of expressing gratitude can completely transform your attitude. Keeping a gratitude journal shifts your focus from any problems you’re dealing with to more positive areas of your life. It helps you get perspective and recognize the “good stuff.”
Gratitude can also help you get through hard times by upgrading your perspective. It helps you view setbacks, failures or negative experiences as opportunities for growth and learning. Giving thanks is the ultimate way to fill your heart and clear your head.
How To Practice Gratitude
Expressing gratitude can be done at any time, anywhere. One of the easiest ways to incorporate gratitude is to keep a journal and write down at least five things you’re grateful for daily. We often think of giving thanks for the big things that happen in our lives, but it’s just as important to write down the little things too. Be specific with what you write and challenge yourself to explore new areas to keep it fresh. Focus on people and experiences over possessions. You can even include others by sharing gratitude at dinner.
No matter how you choose to express yourself or how little time you spend doing it, the important thing is that you do it on a regular basis.
Here are some examples of what you might find in a gratitude journal:
I’m grateful for…
- My husband whose love, support and inspiration motivate me to be a better person.
- My work and ability to help others improve their health and enjoy food more.
- Pets, friendship, hugs, smiles, laughter, love, dark chocolate and sunshine.
- The Science Behind Gratitude (and How It Can Change Your Life)
- Why Gratitude is Good
- 10 Ways to Become More Grateful
- What is Gratitude?
- Happify Daily — Happy Thoughts
- The Biggest Obstacle to Perfect Health is Your Mind by Chris Kresser
- 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round