…for what, you’re asking? Well, there are a million things to be thankful for. Think about it! Already after the first line of this article I’m inviting you right here, right now, to stop reading and take 2 mins to write down (at least) five things you grateful for today! Come on, try it!
Gratitude practice is one of the most effective tools for happiness. Maybe you can feel its effects at the present moment. Valuing and appreciating what we have, rather than focusing on what we don’t have (yet, anyway), makes our minds more at ease. It helps us to understand that – while other parts of our lives may be in struggle – there is still plenty of reason to be happy.
How do you feel now, after this short experiment? Did it come easy to you? You might be surprised how many, beautiful things are in your life… If you found it difficult, don’t worry and continue – it will get easier and feel more natural in time.
While happiness may be the biggest benefit of a regular gratitude practice, it’s by far not the only one. I did a bit of research and it’s amazing what impacts gratitude can have. Check it out!
Gratitude improves our self-esteem
Gratitude makes us healthier (in mind & body – it’s scientifically proven!)
Gratitude makes us more optimistic (and we all know how important optimism is for success, happiness,…)
Gratitude makes us more resilient (because we appreciate all our skills that help us deal with stuff)
Gratitude makes us less stressed (because we know what really counts in life)
Gratitude makes us care less about material things (or what’s first on your list above?)
Gratitude makes us less envious (obviously, the two are almost opposites)
Gratitude makes people like us (which makes us socially more involved and better supported from our network)
Gratitude lets us sleep better (when you practise before going to bed)
….and many, many more! I’m going to stop listing the benefits here and continue with some actual ways to make a gratitude practise happen in your daily life, in case you feel like trying it for yourself. Much like with any new habit, it’s advisable to start small, so you can keep it up for some time and observe the long-term effects.
Here are some of my favourites:
Stick a posted note to your bathroom mirror that says THANK YOU. Every time you brush your teeth, think about 3 things to be thankful for
Say a little thank-you prayer when you wake up in the morning or before you close your eyes to sleep at night (you don’t have to be religious to do this!)
Meditate on the things you are most grateful about in the present moment
Write a gratitude journal where you note down 10 things every day/ week
Make a gratitude jar. Every time you feel grateful, write a little note and put it in a jar. Once in a while, empty your jar, read the notes and enjoy the happy memories
Write thank-you notes to others. A written note of appreciation means much more than a quickly mumbled ‘thanks’
Let us know how it goes!
I am grateful for you reading this blog post, so here is a big