4 Simple Reminders on the Benefits of Gratitude

written by Erica Quam

1. Gratitude can make you happier (& reduce anxiety & depression).

Gratitude has been scientifically proven to be one of the most reliable methods for increasing happiness.  It can boost your positive emotions – and shift your perspective…turn your half empty glass into one that’s half full.  Even in the face of adversities – like injuries, aging, and chronic disease.

2. Gratitude is good for your body.

Studies have shown that gratitude “strengthens the immune system and lowers blood pressure.”   Being grateful for small things may encourage you to exercise and help you take better care of your health.

3. Gratitude may help you sleep better.

Have a lot on your mind? Make a mental gratitude list instead of counting sheep.  The more grateful you are the less time you will spend awake before falling asleep, and you may even feel more refreshed when you wake up.

4. Gratitude can help you foster forgiveness.

Gratitude is a key ingredient for forgiveness. A grateful attitude helps you begin to shift away from negativity, judgements, & criticism – the things we hold onto that keep us from forgiving someone or something.

Begin A Gratitude Practice

When gratitude becomes a part of your daily life, you develop a different relationship with this sense of being grateful.  Instead of holding out to express your great big thanks during the Thanksgiving Day blessing – just before the turkey is served, try integrating it into your life more regularly. Here are three simple ways to begin a gratitude practice:

1.  List

List (or think about) 3 to 5 things – big or small – that you are grateful for each day.  You can do this in the morning before you begin your day or try this at night before you go to sleep.

2.  Note.

People make a positive impact us all the time.  Take a few minutes to acknowledge that person by writing them a simple thank you note.

3.  Give.

Give without any expectation of what you’ll get in return.  Giving your money, time, or simply your presence to someone is a powerful way to practice gratitude.

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