Do you wish you could…
Have more and better relationships?
Have fewer aches?
Have increased happiness?
Have greater self-esteem?
Have greater resilience?
I mean, who DOESN’T wish they had a group of friends to gather with on Friendsgiving, fewer pains, and a happier outlook every day?
Who DOESN’T wish they could be kinder to that guy that’s going 15 mph under on the freeway during rush hour or feel baller about yourself all the time?
Who DOESN’T want to sleep better and be able to bounce back from challenges as a stronger individual?
We’re raising our hands enthusiastically over here like Hermione anytime she knows an answer in class: Us! We want these things!
What’s the secret ingredient to a whole host of health benefits?
Yep, studies show that practicing gratitude can lead the way to some crazy great health benefits!
Ready to begin? We’ve got some suggestions for you to begin practicing an attitude of gratitude.
Keep a list.
Regularly keeping a list of all the things you’re grateful for is an easy way to begin cultivating a grateful attitude.
Your gratitude list doesn’t have to be only for major accomplishments (although you should DEFINITELY be grateful for that major promotion!). Anything you come across in your day that lightens your mood is worthy of your gratitude list: that divinely perfect cup of coffee, the hug your daughter gave you as you dropped her off at daycare, the fact that the sun is out after 8 days of straight rain. Write ‘em down!
Make gratitude a habit: Keep a cute notepad on your desk at work to jot down throughout the day. Have a notebook on your bedside table and write 5 things you’re grateful for every evening. Pull up your phone’s Notes app and begin a list, then set a reminder on your phone for a time every day to pause a list a few things you’re grateful for. Find a practice that works for your lifestyle and then begin filling up that daily gratitude list!
Create a gratitude jar.
A gratitude jar is another way to practice offering thanks for the good things in your day. Grab a jar and keep some loose paper or notecards next to it. Anytime something comes to mind that you’re particularly grateful for (like the way your WAY TOO CUTE pup was so excited to see you when you got home), write it down and stick it in the jar.
When you’re feeling down in the dumps one day, pull out the paper from the jar and remind yourself that even if your feelings are trying to convince you that “LIFE SUCKS AND WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE” (let’s be real, we’ve all been there), you still have so much to be grateful for.
Get an accountability partner.
Making a gratitude list is fun, but what’s more fun is sharing that list with someone you love! Whether it’s around the dinner table with your family or through a daily text with your best friend, encourage one another to share what you’re grateful for from that day.
The accountability will encourage you to continue cultivating a grateful attitude, even on days when you’re just not in the mood (a.k.a. you were late to work, your dog ate your shoe, you forgot to call your mom for her birthday, AND you got caught outside in a rainstorm before a huge presentation at work).
Write thank you notes.
Share your gratitude with the people who have impacted your life! Taking time to write a note to genuinely thank a person for their contribution to your life directly lifts your attitude to gratitude. This could be anyone: your 3rd grade teacher who is the reason you’re now a nurse, your aunt who always supports you, your best friend who answers your phone calls even at 6am. There’s no better way to practice gratitude than by telling someone thank you!
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