How to Practice Gratitude In Your Life

 

Do you appreciate the small things in life?  Or do you let the small things get you down?  Often it comes down to your attitude of gratitude, and the benefits behind the practice are nearly endless.   People who regularly practice gratitude take the time to notice and reflect on things they’re thankful for every day.  They experience greater joy, sleep, and even stronger immune systems.  That’s why it’s so important to learn how to practice gratitude in our everyday lives.

Here are a few key practices that I’ve discovered — and research supports — that help not only to start a practice of gratitude but to maintain it for the long haul.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

I’ve written about this before, but it’s so true — gratitude journals work!  According to a study by researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida, having participants write down a list of positive events at the end of each day – and why it made them happy – lowered their self-reported stress levels and gave them a greater sense of calm at night.  If you’re skeptical, I encourage you to try it once.   I promise the words will flow out of you!

Express Gratitude to Your Partner

You and your significant other likely do lots of things together to make each other’s lives better. That’s why practicing gratitude with your partner can be a fun and meaningful experience.   This could inspire a weekly date night or daily ritual for the two of you.  Research finds that couples who express gratitude are more forgiving and have stronger overall relationships.  Give it a try!

Practice Kindness

For many people, the key to having more gratitude is to give back to others in their local community. Not only will it make you more grateful for the things that you may take for granted, but studies have shown that volunteering increases our well-being, and our ability to have more gratitude.  So next time you’re feeling down, think of a way that you can volunteer or practice kindness in your community.

Take Nothing for Granted

Who or what may you be taking for granted? We can easily fall into a routine and neglect what’s important around us. For example, health is one thing we may take for granted. Every day is a blessing when we wake up feeling well, with no pain in our bodies.  Some people never experience this.  If you are taking your health for granted, it is the first thing that, when it goes, we want back with all our hearts.

Did these tips help you?  What are some ways that you practice gratitude?  I’d love to hear your thoughts at hello@heartandsoulblog.com.  And please be sure to subscribe below to receive more helpful blog posts straight to your inbox each Friday.

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