In today’s post, we’re discussing the benefits of gratitude. It’s sure to leave you feeling more appreciative of every experience you have in life. Many people talk about having an attitude of gratitude but what does that really mean?
Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Sounds nice and simple, right? Basically be thankful for what you have, show appreciation when other people do things for you and return that with kindness. As easy as it sounds, the trials of life often get people stuck in a state of unhappiness, depression and it leaves them in a state where being grateful becomes difficult.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
As a Christian, I know that God doesn’t want us to be weary and burdened. Of course it’s natural that we will get this way from time to time and when we do, it’s good to turn to him first. Secondly, it’s important to know that you are not alone and to recognize where your control lies in every situation. You may feel down and out, stuck or depressed but what YOU choose to feed your mind in those moments defines how you will climb out. Here’s where the benefits of gratitude come in handy. You must recognize the importance of gratitude in life and taking time out of your day to engage in the practice of gratitude can help you improve in the following areas:
1. Emotional: more relaxation and the ability to call on happier memories.
2. Personality: more optimistic, increased self esteem.
3. Social: deeper relationships and a healthier marriage.
4. Health: improved sleep and increased energy.
5. Career: goal achievement and improved decision making.
So how do you do this? It’s simple. Here are some simple ways to practice gratitude.
- Make a daily gratitude list (This doesn’t have to be long. You can start out by listing 3 things a day that you’re grateful for.)
- When you start feeling stress, stop and think of the things you’re grateful for. This has instantly helped me on rough days.
- Get others involved (This is a helpful one if you’re a care giver and your mood is impacting others. I often tell my kids what I’m grateful for and encourage them to tell me what they’re thankful for as well. Of course, they usually say “I’m grateful for Mommy!” What a mood lifter!)
- Take a gratitude walk (Here you can combine exercise and gratitude. Exercise is known to release the brain’s feel good chemicals (aka endorphins) and while you’re walking, why not start with gratitude for your feet, sense of smell, eyes that help you see nature.)
- Watch and/or listen to something inspiring (Your ability to hear or see is an obvious thing to be grateful for but sometimes listening to others’ stories of success, happiness and fulfillment can give you motivation and help you see the silver lining. You may leave feeling more grateful for the opportunity to pursue your own dreams.)
There are so many more that can be added but for now, I’ll leave it at that. Try some of these out and be sure to let me know in the comments if this practice is helpful for you. That’s all for now but before you go, don’t forget to check out my Facebook page where you will get access to more uplifting messages more frequently. You can check that out HERE.
The Counselor’s Mindset Coach