Learn How Practicing Gratitude can Change Your Life


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Being grateful is something you’ve heard your parents talk about when you were a child, saying that you should be more thankful for what they could provide you and what you have. Although we couldn’t fully understand what gratefulness is, our parents were right ― we should be more thankful for what we own and what we’ve come through that shaped our personalities. There are so many things to be appreciative of in this world.

But how can you be more grateful to reap its benefits fully? Well, like many other feelings, this too can be practiced, so you don’t have to worry if you can’t be thankful when required. Plus, learning gratitude can make you happier and change your life for the better, so let’s see how you can achieve it.

What is gratitude, and how does it work?

Gratitude is the feeling of being thankful for what you receive from life, be it something spiritual or just an object. Acknowledging that you’re lucky to receive something helps you appreciate life more, making you happier and less heedless of what you own and your relationships with people.

Gratitude is strongly related to words, and we know that words hold power to impact your thoughts and actions. Therefore, by expressing your emotions and being thankful for your belongings, you’re promoting positivity and forwarding your feelings toward how lucky you are at the moment. However, expressing gratitude does not diminish concerns and other throughs, so this is not a form of toxic positivity. Instead, by being thankful for what we have, we can motivate ourselves to bring more joy and happiness into our lives and others by working on ourselves.

What are the benefits of being grateful?

Gratitude can help you physically and mentally. Although it is not a cure for mental health problems and other issues, it can work by boosting other practices to reach an overall healthy life. Therefore, according to research, gratefulness can:

  • Boost your immune system. Frequently practicing gratitude can lower daily stress, which minimizes the immune response to it.
  • Improve mental health. Gratitude is one of the factors that can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression and even improve your mood.
  • Help develop stronger relationships. More than anything, gratitude helps you have better relationships with others by expressing how much you care about them.
  • Increase your optimism. Having an optimistic outlook on life can help you be more confident in yourself, improving your quality of life.

Practice gratitude with these easy exercises

Now that we know how gratitude can make us happier, it’s time to see how you can practice it by trying out a few exercises. You can choose the one you prefer the most, but you can also alternate and see which one has the best results.

One of the most basic ways of expressing gratitude is through journaling. This technique implies that you have a journal where you write the things you’re grateful for daily. For example, you can describe a favorite moment of the day or write about your loved one. It doesn’t matter whether the journal is physical or just an online document ―what matters is that you have a place to freely and openly express your thankfulness.

If you’re a visual learner, you can try gratitude mapping. It involves creating a visual mood board where you insert drawings or photos of things or people you’re grateful for. Then, place this board somewhere easy to see to remind yourself every day of your blessings.

A more profound method is to meditate. This technique not only helps you be grateful, but it can also help you focus on the things you’re thankful for more and minimize the thoughts which are not beneficial for you. Meditating can help you manage stress better and rapidly shift your thoughts in the right direction.

Besides these exercises, you can also try the following:

  • Having a gratitude jar where you write down the things you’re grateful for on a piece of paper and put it in a pot;
  • Praying, regardless of your beliefs, can also help you be fonder of the people and things around you;
  • Volunteering in social causes and events can teach you gratitude by being kind to others;

Train your brain into gratefulness

Besides exercising daily, three mindset techniques can help you be more grateful. These tips can help you adopt this way of thinking more efficiently without making a considerable effort. It’s all about viewing things from a different perspective.

The first step into gratefulness is to notice what’s around you. Be aware of the present moment by watching nature, analyzing people’s faces and gestures, or even the color of a random object. This practice will anchor you in the present moment, which will make you more prompt in your behavior and the way you relate to others.

Next in order, it would be best to practice gratitude for little things to reach your goal. It might sound easier to be grateful for the fact that you have a house, a car, and a family, but what about being thankful for seeing your favorite flower or for being able to wake up in the morning? By practicing mindfulness along with gratitude, you’ll find comfort and satisfaction in the quality of your life and the little things that can go unnoticed.

Finally, spread the word! Tell your loved ones and your friends you’re lucky to have them. Or, if you want to take it slowly, you may start by hugging someone or saying thank you more often to people. Not only will they be happy to be appreciated, but you’ll also feel the good energy between you and your family or friends because you’re more open to showing your true feelings.

Final thoughts

Practicing gratitude can be challenging, but it’s not impossible to achieve. By being thankful for the people you love, nature and the things you own, you can improve your mood and health through a changed mindset. So, what do you think about gratitude?

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