Gratitude fuels happiness. Shifting your thoughts to things for which you are grateful, can help you see the joy in life, even if it’s just the little things. Practicing gratitude not only improves your spiritual and mental well-being but also improves your health. Here are some health benefits of gratitude and tips on how you can practice it daily. Remember, it’s more than saying thank you!
Gratitude Benefits Reduces Stress
One of the main health benefits of practicing gratitude is that it significantly reduces stress levels. Stress affects our mental well-being and can also have severe consequences for our physical health – affecting everything from sleep to immunity to digestion. Gratitude helps to recruit your vagus nerve to reduce stress and improve health.
Being Thankful Improves Mood
A daily gratitude practice is proven to be an effective tool for boosting your mood. It helps you remember that there are still things (even small ones) for which you can be grateful, even if you don’t feel your best. Gratitude can help you see things from a brighter perspective, one that may be difficult to find on your own.
Gratitude Improves Sleep
Practicing gratitude daily can help improve the quality of your sleep. If you have time before bed, take a few minutes to practice gratitude. You can do this by writing in your journal or simply reflecting on the day you’ve had and aspects for which you are grateful. It will help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.
People who practice gratitude daily may have stronger immune systems. This is partly due to reduced stress levels, which lowers inflammation. Studies show that people who practice gratitude also tend to improve other areas that increase their well-being, such as exercising and eating healthy— all factors that boost the immune system.
Not sure how to incorporate gratitude? Here are a few simple tips to get you started.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal is one of the easiest ways to practice gratitude daily. You can buy dedicated gratitude journals that already have prompts in them or get creative and write your own. You don’t have to write a lot. Take a minute or two and jot down three things for which you are grateful that day. Practice getting more and more specific.
Create Visual Reminders
Feel free to create visual reminders around your house or set up notifications on your phone that remind you to slow down and practice gratitude. Visual cues can help jog your memory and help to remind you of all you have to be grateful for. You may find it beneficial to snap pictures that represent your gratitude and collect them in an album on your phone.
Share Your Gratitude with Others
A proven way to practice gratitude daily is to share it. If you’re grateful for someone’s actions, or simply their support and love, tell them. Let them know how grateful you are for them. Not only will this put a smile on their face, but it will also make you feel happier.
Thanksgiving shouldn’t be the only time you give thanks. Discover the health benefits of gratitude by taking time daily to reflect on things for which you are grateful. It will change your outlook on life.