In uncertain and unpleasant times like these, it can be hard to be grateful. But Practicing gratitude can be a game-changer: it has far reaching effects, from improving our mental health to boosting our relationships with others.
Living your life with gratitude helps you notice the little wins — like the bus showing up right 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 strings together to create a web of well-being that, over time, strengthens your ability to notice the good.
How does gratitude help?
1. Boost your mental health
Scientific research shows that gratitude can significantly improve your mental health. Especially when you write about what you are grateful for in a notebook every day, you send signals to your brain that will give you a more positive and less stressful view of things.
2. Being considered happy by others.
When you have a positive and grateful attitude towards the world, this will also be noticed by the people around you! You will have a more positive language, posture and gaze. This will bring you to your best advantage in society.
3. Experience less stress
The regions associated with gratitude are part of the neural networks that light up when we socialize and experience pleasure. These regions are also heavily connected to the parts of the brain that control basic emotional regulation, such as heart rate, and are associated with stress relief and thus pain reduction. Feeling grateful and recognizing help from others creates a more relaxed body state and allows the subsequent benefits of lowered stress to wash over us.
How to start and develop the grateful lifestyle?
A Simple Mindful Gratitude Journaling Exercise building your capacity for gratitude isn't difficult. It just takes practice.
The more you can bring your attention to that which you feel grateful for, the more you'll notice to feel grateful for!
Start by observing. Notice the thank yous you say. Just how much of a habitual response is it? Is it a hasty aside, an afterthought? How are you feeling when you express thanks in small transactions? Stressed, uptight, a little absent-minded? Do a quick scan of your body-are you already physically moving on to your next interaction?
Pick one interaction a day. When your instinct to say "thanks" arises, stop for a moment and take note. Can you name what you feel grateful for, even beyond the gesture that's been extended? Then say thank you.
As Jon Kabat-Zinn says, "The little things? The little moments? They aren't little." Saying thank you, holding the door for someone, these little moments can change the tone of your whole day.
One of the most powerful ways to rewire your brain for more joy and less stress is to focus on gratitude. Here are 9 simple ways to become more grateful:
1. Keep a Gratitude Journal.
Establish a daily practice in which you remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits, and good things you enjoy. Recalling moments of gratitude associated with ordinary events, your personal attributes, or valued people in your life gives you the potential to interweave a sustainable theme of gratefulness into your life.
2. Remember the Bad.
To be grateful in your current state, it is helpful to remember the hard times that you once experienced. When you remember how difficult life used to be and how far you have come, you set up an explicit contrast in your mind, and this contrast is fertile ground for gratefulness.
3. Share Your Gratitude with Others.
Research has found that expressing gratitude can strengthen relationships. So the next time your partner, friend or family member does something you appreciate, be sure to let them know.
4. Come to Your Senses.
Through our senses-the ability to touch, see, smell, taste, and hear-we gain an appreciation of what it means to be human and of what an incredible miracle it is to be alive. Seen through the lens of gratitude, the human body is not only a miraculous construction, but also a gift.
5. Use Visual Reminders.
Because the two primary obstacles to gratefulness are forgetfulness and a lack of mindful awareness, visual reminders can serve as cues to trigger thoughts of gratitude. Often times, the best visual reminders are other people.
6. Make a Vow to Practice Gratitude.
Research shows that making an oath to perform a behavior increases the likelihood that the action will be executed. Therefore, write your own gratitude vow, which could be as simple as "I vow to count my blessings each day," and post it somewhere where you will be reminded of it every day.
7. Watch Your Language.
Grateful people have a particular linguistic style that uses the language of gifts, givers, blessings, blessed, fortune, fortunate, and abundance. In gratitude, you should not focus on how inherently good you are, but rather on the inherently good things that others have done on your behalf.
8. Go Through the Motions.
Grateful motions include smiling, saying thank you, and writing letters of gratitude. By "going through grateful motions," you'll trigger the emotion of gratitude more often.
9. Think Outside the Box.
If you want to make the most out of opportunities to flex your gratitude muscles, you must look creatively for new situations and circumstances in which to feel grateful.
Please share the creative ways you've found to help you practice gratitude. And of course leave a message, if you have got suggestions for the our next blog!
Great writing and information, words touched my soul.