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The Power of Gratitude: 7 Ways to Become More Grateful

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Photo by George Dolgikh from Pexels

Do you ever take time to reflect on the positive in your life? Or do the negatives affect your outlook on life?

World Gratitude Day is September 21. This day is an opportunity to appreciate your friends, colleagues, and everything you are grateful for. Although you should practice gratitude daily, you may sometimes feel anxious, upset, or even depressed due to life's disappointments.  The good news is that consistently practicing gratitude counteracts negative emotions.

Recognizing your blessings, particularly amid adversity, strengthens your mental toughness. We all have the capacity and chance to practice thankfulness. Instead of moaning about what you don't have, appreciate all you have for a few seconds. 

Why Should You Practice Gratitude Every Day

Gratitude enhances the quality of your sleep

People who are grateful sleep better. Starting today, take 15 minutes to write or reflect on what you're grateful for before you sleep. According to research, taking a few minutes before falling asleep to reflect on what you're grateful for gives you better and longer sleep.

Gratitude enhances physical health

A grateful person is more likely to be motivated to prioritize self-care habits such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and getting regular health checkups. Therefore, they are healthier and live longer than people who are pessimistic about life.

Being grateful boosts self-esteem.

Negative emotions, such as anger and jealousy, contribute to low self-esteem. Focusing on the positive parts of your life enhances your self-esteem and productivity levels. A grateful life saves you from comparing yourself to others who seem to be doing better than you. Instead, you will appreciate the journey and trust that your path will lead to success and happiness.

Gratitude is good for your mental health.

Expressing gratitude during stressful or challenging times makes you mentally strong. Rather than being preoccupied with troubles, gratitude enables you to concentrate on the positive aspects of your life.

Gratitude fosters relationships.

Recognizing people's contributions to your life is the key to stronger bonds. A polite person who often expresses their gratitude to their friends and family gets to have stronger connections and happier relationships. Get the thank you notepads today and write to your friends and coworkers.

Gratitude helps to minimize negative emotions.

Thankfulness increases happiness and decreases despair and is one of the most basic yet powerful strategies to raise your mood. When you are grateful for your own life, you experience less aggression, resentment, or envy,  which can affect your life and how you relate with others. Grateful people are more inclined to be more emphatic to others than reactive, even when others give them unfavorable feedback. Allowing ungratefulness in your life makes you more sensitive to the needs of others and has less desire to pursue vengeance. 

7 Ways to Practice Gratitude

1. Practice daily gratitude mindfulness.

Take a few minutes every day in the morning or evening to count your blessings. Learn to appreciate that you get to go to work instead of lamenting about the traffic or early mornings. In the evening, think about five things that happened on the day you are grateful for. 

2. Say "thank you" frequently.

Write a thank you note or message to express gratitude to a few people daily. Expressing your feelings on paper might assist you in appreciating the good in your life. Always say thank you whenever your friend, family, or a stranger helps you with a task. The two magic words will also make the other person happy. 

3. Maintain a gratitude journal.

Have you ever tried gratitude journaling? It is similar to a gratitude mindfulness, except you write down what you are grateful for. Spend a few minutes to write three to five things you are thankful for every day in a gratitude journal. If this is too much for you, begin journaling once a week. To make the habit stick, practice gratitude mindfulness on days when you don't write in your diary.

4. Go on a gratitude walk.

Do you enjoy going for walks? It is, after all, another opportunity for you to practice thankfulness. It is similar to a mindful stroll in which you focus on the good aspects of your surroundings. Pay attention to the pleasant and lovely things around you - such as flowers, birds, or buildings - you may see as you walk. Smile and say hi to anybody you see in your area. Feel grateful for their presence or their compassion.

5. Keep a gratitude jar.

Get a colorful jar and decorate it to your preference. Every day drops a note of what you are grateful for that day. You can do that for a month or a year and then review at the end of the period. Keep writing what comes to your mind. When you need to cheer yourself up or are feeling demotivated, you can look at the jar and know that the good is more than the bad. 

6. Make a gratitude inventory.

An inventory sounds similar to having a gratefulness jar. However, an inventory is a list of things you are grateful for about yourself, others, or what you have. You will create the inventory once,  unlike the jar where you must keep writing until the jar is full. List down the positive counters in your life, strengths, and the people you are happy to meet. You can also write what you have. To make it organized, create categories and write anything that comes to mind under each category

7. Keep smiling

Whenever you feel a negative thought coming in, think of the person or thing you're thankful for, and then smile. It takes less effort to smile than to frown. And it's also good for your well-being and can enhance your mood. 

Do you want to practice gratitude every day? Gratitude can change your life and improve your mental, emotional, and physical health. The benefits of gratitude are so significant that you'll want to incorporate it into your life all year, not just during World Gratitude Day.

Try these simple tips and see your life getting better

References

  1. https://www.mindful.org/an-introduction-to-mindful-gratitude/
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2016/07/08/8-ways-to-have-more-gratitude-every-day/?sh=555255321d54
  3. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/40-simple-ways-practice-gratitude.html
  4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2021/12/01/14-simple-ways-to-practice-gratitude-in-your-everyday-professional-life/?sh=28388092521d

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