Being grateful is a simple yet powerful act that we can do to benefit our wellbeing. Implementing it as a practice into our daily lives can help us feel connected to ourselves, others, nature, or perhaps a higher power. It can be an incredible motivator to seize the day and live our lives to the fullest! It can equally help us form new or strengthen our current relationships. Some have coined it as the relationship-strengthening emotion, as it challenges us to see how we are supported and affirmed by those around us.
We can understand gratitude as a practice of reflecting, recognizing, and appreciating a source of goodness in our lives. It can help us see what we have in front of us, instead of looking and reaching for something or someone that may help us feel better. This is why gratitude is also a choice. Oftentimes, in the hustle of life, we may overlook the gifts and blessings that we are given and take them for granted.
Research suggests gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It is a spark for positive emotions, allows people to relish good experiences, and better deal with adversity. Furthermore, it can even benefit our physical health by giving us a more restful sleep and boosting immunity.
So how can we include gratitude in our daily lives for our bodies and minds to thrive? Here are a few ideas:
- Write a thank-you note to someone, even if you cannot, or chose not to, give it to them.
- Jot down what you are thankful for, either in a gratitude journal or on a piece of paper that can go into a gratitude jar.
- Meditate and spend time reflecting on what you are grateful for. This practice can include sending out a mental “thank you” to someone.
- Put up some gratitude cues where you spend the most time to reinforce feelings of gratitude. For example, hang positive quotes or photos of things and people that make you happy on the fridge or by your computer.
In your community…
- Share events or experiences occurring in your community on social media to collectively appreciate and celebrate the good things happening around you.
- Volunteer or mentor others in your community! This is a great way to give back by sharing your knowledge, skills, and experiences with others.
- Attend local events. By showing up, you express your support and appreciation for the efforts of people in your community.
Living a grateful life means taking the time to acknowledge the good, no matter how big or small! Even in challenging times, it is worth slowing down to notice the beauty present around us, and ultimately, to appreciate the gift our life truly is.