How Gratitude Can Change Your Life?
Gratitude rooted in the Latin word Gratus, meaning thankful or pleasing. Gratitude is a feeling - a feeling of appreciation. Gratitude has been shown to have many positive effects outside of an increase in positivity and feeling happier. Gratitude has been shown to increase well-being, relationships, and health.
Why Does Gratitude Increase One’s Overall Happiness?
Gratitude increases your experience of positive emotions, as well as increases your awareness of positive experiences in your day-to-day life. With this positive effect, you are more likely to have higher satisfaction with life as well as having a sense that your life has meaning. Furthermore, gratitude has been associated with an increase in authentic living.
What Is the Relationship Between Gratitude and Health?
A few proven health benefits of gratitude are an improvement in sleep, an increase in psychological well-being, longevity, an increase in energy levels as well an increase in your likelihood of partaking in physical activity. One study showed that gratitude improved sleep quality decreased the amount of time to fall asleep and increased sleep duration. Gratitude has been found to increase one’s ability to cope and manage illness, in addition to increasing one’s resilience or ability to perceive that one can cope with their present situation. Gratitude has been associated with longevity because having a more optimistic demeanor is associated with an increase in healthier habits that increase one’s overall physical health such as eating nourishing foods and exercising. Gratitude has been correlated with having higher energy levels and increases one’s tendency to exercise. One study showed that those who were keeping a gratitude journal spent an extra 40 minutes exercising each week versus the control group.
How to Start a Gratitude Practice?
Step one is to commit. With time, momentum will build however, at the start you will have to set the intention to commit to this practice.
- Choose a time of day you are going to do this
- Write it down in a journal
- Share the practice with someone else to keep yourself accountable
- Habit stack: for example, journal every morning while you are making your cup of coffee or tea and waiting for it to brew/ steep
- Don’t overthink it - if you write down the same things every day that is okay, continue and watch your practice evolve with time
- If you skip a day or forget, don’t worry about it, get back on track as soon as you can Think outside the box … Use your senses.
- What do you see, smell, and hear? What can you touch? What is around you? Use the past.
- What lessons have you learned? What has the world provided you thus far?
- Think into the future. What do you have to look forward to?
- Embrace the present. What good things are happening in your life today
What are you learning? How are you growing? “When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Lao Tzu