Grateful. Thankful. Blessed. The simple practice of gratitude can do wonders for your health and wellness. One thought, one sentence, one outlook can completely change the way you think and feel about yourself and the world around you. Gratitude seems like a simple concept when the holidays come around. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reflect on your year and all that you have in this life but what about every other time of the year? Gratitude is a fundamental need for selflessness, optimism, empathy, spirituality, and improved self-esteem. Actively practicing gratitude on a regular basis is just about the most transformative and crucial practice on your journey to self-love and here’s why…
Psychology suggests that gratitude is correlated with improved mood, lowered levels of anxiety, and greater quality of life. It allows people to feel more present and allows for improved relationships and overall health. The act of gratitude is the reminder that something positive is taking place. You say “thank you” to people who have helped you or make you feel good. The same goes for being thankful for yourself.
Practicing gratitude leads to improved confidence because it puts you in a place of recognition with your mind and body. It’s a subtle reminder of all that you are doing and accomplishing. As you make gratitude a habit in your life, it makes you more aware of the good things in your life. When you are in this positive headspace, you are more likely to feel confident and secure in your mind and body.
The neural passages between the mind and body become more alert when gratitude is expressed. Positive hormones are released as gratitude brings about happiness. These hormones lead to a more effective immune system and create a clearer passageway between neurons in the body. Gratitude acts as a reward system within the brain and this leads to an improved outlook on ourselves and the world around us.
Practicing gratitude on a regular basis makes it easier to build connections and relate to other people. Through the lens of gratitude, it’s easier to hold space for compassion because your subconscious mind has improved situational awareness. For example, when someone is lashing out or you receive negative feedback, your lens of gratitude will help you see situations from the other perspective. Instead of feeling pain, you can recognize the hurt in other people and/or you are better able to identify things to be grateful for at that moment. As you practice gratitude on a regular basis, it becomes easier to identify what you are thankful for on a subconscious level.
This improves empathy because you better see the services and feelings that others express to you. It gives recognition that others are extending themselves to you in a place of good heart, making it easier to return that emotional state. Gratitude breaks the comparison game because instead of thinking of what could be, you’re focused on what is. From here, you can easier connect with others and see them as equals rather than someone above or below you.
As you implement gratitude as a daily practice, anxiety begins to dwindle and you can better manage those moments of high-stress and worry. Anxiety is inevitable for many people however, it’s manageable. Anxiety is simply to the presence of danger and worry of the unknown. When anxiety creeps into your life, it’s because you have a sense that someone could go wrong. This brings you out of the present moment and prevents you from feeling in control. You find yourself in a state of flight-or-fight.
Practicing gratitude will help keep you grounded. Gratitude is an antidote to anxiety. Finding what you are thankful for in the moment of worry and fear allows you to come back to your body and reminds you of what’s really going on. When you find gratitude in the moment, your body releases positive hormones, allowing you to get out of the fight-or-flight space. You essentially cover up your anxiety with gratitude and eventually, the anxiety begins to lower or disappear.
Writing Thank you Letters
Give thanks to those who have provided some sort of positivity to you. This can be from something specific or just s general letter expressing the value that they hold in your life. This is an excellent way to nurture a relationship and bring positivity to light.
Start and End the Day with Gratitude
Make it the first thought when you wake up and the last thing before you sleep. Bringing gratitude to the forefront of your mind each day will lead to an improved mood throughout the day and a better slumber at night. It decreases the thought of worry or anxiety, making it easier to focus within. Research shows that practicing gratitude every day can be just as effective as anti-depressant medication in many cases. For daily gratitude, check out these incredible journaling sheets!
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the best ways to fully recognize the things you are grateful for. Writing thoughts down allows your mind to fully process it which makes it more prevalent in high-stress situations. When writing down what you are grateful for, try to write down why you are grateful for that thing. This will make it more meaningful and bloom into even more positivity in the long run.
Meditating brings you back to connecting within. It gives you time to analyze how you feel and why you feel that way. Meditating helps bring about gratitude through being in the present. This is a time to release any judgment held within.
Becoming aware of your surroundings comes with gratitude but gratitude also comes when you are more aware. The two go hand in hand with each other. When you are aware of things going on, you can better prepare mentally when something might feel off. Gratitude can help shift negative feelings. For example, making a wrong turn while drive can be irritating but recognizing that you are safe and grateful for the ability to drive can turn that frustrating experience into a more calming, joyful one.
Give Yourself Grace and Gratitude
Gratitude is a beautiful thing to express for and about other people and things but it’s equally important to express it towards yourself. Giving yourself that space for grace and appreciating all that your mind and body do for you improves overall self-confidence. It’s okay to be proud of who you are and own all that you do.
Getting in the swing of gratitude can be tricky but I’ve created a challenge for you to start you on the right now. Fill out your information below and you’ll receive a completely free 30 Days to Gratitude download, delivered right to your email!