Practicing Gratitude Is Like Taking A Supplement For Your Soul!
One of the easiest ways to start to turn yourself around so that you can feel better about your life is to practice gratitude.
Now…before you click away from this post, please hear me out!
There is much research on gratitude that shows that practicing gratitude and appreciation can:
1. Open the door to better relationships. Literally. When someone does something nice (like opening a door), taking a moment to smile and say “thank you”! will give you a little boost of endorphins and make you feel good. In addition, smiling and saying “thank you” can mean the world to someone – especially if they are having a bad day.
2. Help you sleep better. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. I’ve found that you don’t even need to write in a journal. Simply thinking of those things you are grateful for is enough to make a measurable change.
3. Improve psychological health by reducing envy, resentment, frustration, and regret. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
4. Improve your self esteem. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs – which is a major factor in reduced self-esteem – grateful people are more easily able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
The truth is, when you find ways to feel good about yourself, you get on a path that is good for your mind, your body, and your soul.
Practicing Gratitude Feels Silly
When I first heard of this, I thought practicing gratitude was pretty silly.
I’m a skeptical person and I certainly don’t believe everything I read. I want proof.
I thought it was silly like those people who told me how great yoga was. Although I now understand once I took the time to check it out.
Silly like tapping on acupressure points to get over stuff to feel better. (Yep. That works too. Even though I didn’t believe at first.)
But practicing gratitude?
So…rather than being judgmental without ever trying, I decided to put gratitude to the test.
I practiced it myself. I even added gratitude to my client’s homework.
So…before you “pooh pooh” gratitude, how about if you practice for a week and report back to me with your results?
ONE WEEK GRATITUDE PRACTICE INSTRUCTIONS: Do each daily!
1. Smile at three strangers.
2. Say “Thank You” to three people. (Even if you have to make a phone call – do it!)
3. In the morning before you get up, make a mental list of five things you are grateful for.
4. When you go to bed, make a mental list of five things you are grateful for.
NOTE: Your grateful list doesn’t have to include the big stuff, instead it can include the little stuff – like being grateful that
- You like the color of your bedroom wall
- You enjoyed time with a friend
- You got to watch your favorite TV show
- You had a good time on facebook
- You enjoyed reading your book
After a week, let me know what you notice about your life. What’s different? What feels better?
Share it below so others can benefit from your experience!