Gratitude is not a woo-woo thing. There is a science behind it that shows how powerful and impactful it can be on your overall happiness and quality of life. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, this is the perfect time to step up your gratitude practice. Here are five ways gratitude will radically improve your life and some tips on how to elevate your practice.
1. Gratitude keeps you focused on the positive.
One of the biggest reasons why people feel unhappy is because they’re focused on the things that are going wrong in their life. Practicing gratitude daily will help break that negative thought cycle by keeping you focused on the good in your life rather than the negative.
2. Gratitude lifts your mood.
Consider gratitude as your secret weapon for uplifting your mood at any given moment. Neuroscience shows that our brain releases dopamine and serotonin every time we express gratitude which makes us feel happy. Whenever you’re in a funk, just think of things you’re grateful for to instantly shift you into a more high-vibe mood. It’s that easy.
3. You’ll attract more good things into your life.
According to the universal law of attraction, like attracts like. Therefore, the more you’re in a grateful, happy state of mind, the more you will attract things into your life that will make you feel happy and grateful.
4. Gratitude helps reduce stress.
Even if you consider yourself a pretty happy person, we all experience stress. Well, gratitude can help with that too. One study showed that gratitude helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol and it makes you more resilient and better equipped to handle stress when it does show up.
5. Gratitude improves your relationships.
Practicing gratitude doesn’t just affect you, it also impacts the people around you as well. Showing the people you love appreciation for the value they add to your life or just for being themselves will not only make you feel good, but it’ll also uplift them as well and create a stronger connection between you.
5 tips to elevate your gratitude practice
Now that you’re sold on the importance of gratitude, here’s five easy ways you can uplevel your gratitude practice and reap the most benefits.
1. Count your blessings.
One quick and easy way you can practice gratitude is by counting 10 things you’re grateful for before you get out of bed in the morning. It will take just a few seconds but it will ensure that you kick off your day on a positive note.
2. Write in a gratitude journal.
Take your gratitude practice to yet another level by writing down the things you’re grateful for in a journal. Do this first thing in the morning or before you go to bed and don’t just focus on the big things like your family, your home, and your job. There is also power in expressing gratitude for the little things like your morning cup of coffee or a beautiful sunset. This will keep your mind constantly looking for more things to be grateful for.
3. Let the emotion wash over you.
It’s not enough to just say what you’re grateful for out loud or write it in your journal. Make sure you’re actually feeling the emotion behind it whenever you practice gratitude. Allow the warm and fuzzy feelings to wash over you and savor it.
4. Feel gratitude for the “bad” things too.
Being grateful for the things you love is easy, but it’s also important to feel gratitude for the not-so-fun things too. Like getting your period, for example. Instead of complaining about it, feel grateful that your body is functioning properly and that organic tampons and pads are easily available to help keep your body free of harmful chemicals. Consider these situations opportunities to strengthen your gratitude muscle.
5. Be consistent with your practice.
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude isn’t a one and done. It’s a new habit that you need to build consistently over an extended period of time. You might not notice the changes in your life and in your outlook from one day to the next but you will over time so keep at it. Make it a fun part of your daily routine that you enjoy and are excited about.