Laughing till your stomach hurts, the warmth of hot chocolate, remembering that time you got a free ride, and the delicious taste of freshly baked bread. What do these all have in common? They’re the good things in life.
When you’re asked about what you feel grateful for, do you find yourself saying the same generic things? Or maybe you have a hard time coming up with things to say because you don’t really think about it? Many of us are used to practicing gratitude when thanksgiving rolls around. We connect with family and friends, share a meal, and reflect on aspects of our lives that we’re grateful for.
But why do we save gratitude for thanksgiving dinners?
What does it mean to practice gratitude?
Practicing gratitude is taking the time to stop and smell the flowers. It’s stopping to seek out the good in life, grow an appreciation for what we’ve been blessed with, pay attention to the “small things”, and to share our gratitude with others.
3 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude Regularly.
Practicing gratitude throughout the year, positive impacts our well-being. It can increase our appreciation for the little things in life, and helps us to see the significance of said “little things”.
When we build the habit of frequently noticing good and positive things, we see a shift in our mental health.
Listed are 3 ways gratitude impact our well-being:
1. Increased Satisfaction:
Practicing gratitude on the regular leads to an appreciation for what we have, and a reduced likelihood of comparing ourselves to others. In a time where social media falsely sets the standard for normalcy, we can be prone to its negative effects of not knowing what’s “good enough”. We are more likely to feel content with what we have when we practice acknowledging the good in our lives. Ruminating on “what isn’t” only leads us to spiral into a dark hole of dissatisfaction and anxiety.
2. Increased Resilience:
Life doesn’t always go the way we’d like it to. Creating a habit of seeing the good in our lives, leads to a development of positive coping mechanisms that can help us in times of adversity. By managing positive emotions like satisfaction, happiness, and pleasure, gratitude enhances our emotional resilience and builds our inner strength to combat stress (Gloria & Steinhardt, 2016).
3. Increased Self Esteem:
Self esteem is important to our mental and physical health. When we respect ourselves and view ourselves as important, we are more likely to take care of ourselves. When we practice gratitude, we are prone to noticing the ways other people are good to us, and in turn develop a strong sense of our value.
If this is something you would like to learn more about, or recognize that you have a hard time with this, we can help!
Get in touch with us and we’d love to work with you.
Gloria, C. T., & Steinhardt, M. A. (2016). Relationships among positive emotions, coping, resilience and mental health. Stress and Health, 32(2), 145-156.
Miller, Kori D. “14 Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude According to Science.” Positive Psychology, positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-gratitude/.