Keeping a gratitude journal was one of the best wellness practices that I’ve ever started. My skeptical me didn’t quite believe in its power at first. So, you are going to write down things you’re grateful for and will suddenly feel happier? Yeah, right… But the truth is, keeping a daily gratitude practice actually helped me put things into perspective and switch from a negative to a positive mindset over time.
It wasn’t like I woke up one day and suddenly felt more grateful than ever. Instead, I saw myself trying to take something positive from a not-so-good situation. Now, even if I have a bad day at work, before bed I make sure to write three things I am grateful for. It won’t obviously erase what went wrong but it helps me shift my focus.
And because gratitude had such a positive impact on my daily life, I wanted to share it with you. Below you will find some of its benefits alongside how to bring more gratitude into your daily life.
What Does Gratitude Really Mean?
How often do you feel your mind clouded with negativity, anxiety, and jealousy?
Gratitude is about taking time from your busy life to appreciate what you have. When you take the time to count your blessings, you realize that your life is actually full of things to be grateful for. Your mind is simply too clouded and too busy to see it. This awareness of what makes you happy will most likely motivate you to cultivate more of it.Gratitude is about taking time from your busy life to appreciate what you have. Click To Tweet
How Can Gratitude Benefit You?
If you are skeptical about all of this like I was, below you will find some of the benefits of keeping a gratitude practice – from increasing happiness and fulfillment to improving mental well-being and even your relationship with others.If you are skeptical about all of this like I was, find here some of the benefits of keeping a gratitude practice. Click To Tweet
1. It improves your well-being.
Many studies have shown that keeping a gratitude practice can have a big impact on your well-being:
- increases happiness and fulfillment
- reduces anxiety and stress levels
- lowers blood pressure
- reduces negative emotions
- increases energy levels
- improves self-esteem
2. It puts things into perspective.
While we are allowed to have bad days, cry with ice cream in hand and feel sorry for ourselves, it’s also important not to stay stuck in that self-pity hole for too long. Practicing gratitude will help you get out of that hole. It will help you rewire your brain and switch from negative thinking into positive. It doesn’t mean you will see unicorns & rainbows everywhere but good things will weight more than bad things.
Instead of focusing so much on what’s going wrong, focus on what’s going right. I’m sure there is something in your life worth being happy for.Instead of focusing so much on what's going wrong, focus on what's going right. Click To Tweet
3. It makes you appreciate the little things in life.
Even when life is challenging, there are still good things around you. It might not be a trip to your dream destination or a new car, but I’m sure there are little things in your life to be happy for. If you stop and take the time to appreciate them, it will bring you joy. Whether that is something you have, moments you live or people you love.
4. It cultivates contentment.
By being more aware of the things you have in your life that bring you joy, you won’t spend all your energy focusing on what you don’t have. That will raise a feeling of contentment.
5. It improves relationships.
The same way gratitude helps you be more content with what you have, it also helps you value the people in your life. You start to appreciate the good people around you and showing more acts of kindness towards them.
How To Bring More Gratitude Into Your Daily Life
1. Keep a gratitude journal.
This is probably one of the best gratitude practices because writing makes it feel more tangible. So set the tone for the day ahead of you by writing down a few things you are grateful for or don’t go to sleep without writing a few happy things that happened during the day. You can either get something like The Five Minute Journal or simply grab a notebook and just list your blessings daily.
Something to keep in mind…
- gratitude must be a daily habit
- focus on the little things
- be specific
2. Random acts of gratitude.
Every time you catch yourself dwelling on something negative, remind yourself a few things you’re grateful for. I sometimes do this while driving to work in the morning – instead of focusing on why I would rather be at home, I say out loud five reasons to appreciate my job.
3. Send a thank you note.
I never do this but, as someone who loves paper and handwritten notes, I believe it would be lovely to get a thank you note in the mail. Not many people send letters nowadays so it will make someone feel very special. If thank you notes are not your thing, maybe call a friend or a family member and let them know how much you appreciate something they did for you.
If you’re into meditation, sit down in silence and, without any distractions, think about all the things you are grateful for. Ask yourself why something makes you feel good and meditate on it.
5. Practice self-love.
Self-love is also an expression of gratitude. It means that you are appreciating your body enough to care for it. When was the last time you did this? Take the time to nourish your body, mind, and soul.
Shifting your mind to focus on the good is not an easy task. But cultivating gratitude is something that will benefit you in so many ways. And the best part is that you can develop this habit in just a few minutes a day. Take some time to be grateful first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed and see your mindset shift gradually.