Expressing gratitude improves mental, physical and relational well-being. Practicing an attitude of gratitude impacts our overall happiness, and these effects tend to be long-lasting.
According to NeuroHealth Associates, gratitude literally rewires your brain to be happier. “Through the power of gratitude, you can wire your brain to be optimistic and compassionate, making you feel good. The more you look, the more you can find to be grateful for. This positivity can extend to those around you, creating a virtuous cycle.”
How Gratitude Works
How does it work? With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside of themselves. As a result, gratitude helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to others, nature or a higher power (Harvard Health).
Benefits of Gratitude
- Opens doors to more relationships
- Improves physical and psychological health
- Enhances empathy and reduces aggression
- Improves sleep
- Increases mental strength and improves self-esteem (Psychology Today)
Keep a Gratitude Journal
- Decide your favorite format (Physical or digital? Lines or structured like a calendar?)
- Make it a habit (Schedule time to write every day)
- Use journal prompts if you get stuck
- Elaborate and write down the details
- Start to look for good throughout your day
Additional ways to practice gratitude include keeping a gratitude jar, using gratitude prompts and more as detailed by PositivePsychology.com.
Gratitude is a powerful tool for improving our lives!