You may have heard the saying “have an attitude of gratitude”. Or “a grateful heart is a happy heart.” There is something behind the advice to count your blessings. Being grateful opens the door to joy and contentment with life, even through times of trial and stress. Gratitude doesn’t always come naturally, but practicing gratitude has many proven benefits. These benefits include:
- Improved physical health, including less Dr.’s visits and less aches and pains
- Long-lasting feelings of happiness and satisfaction with your life
- Improved relationships. Saying thank-you and feeling appreciation for your spouse and family members helps you feel more positive about them and more capable to work out problems when they arise.
- Increased self-confidence
- More empathy, connection with others, and compassion
- Better sleep
- Higher self-esteem
- Resilience during trials and hardships
- Reduced depression and anxiety
- Feeling less lonely and isolated
How do you become a more grateful person?
- Start by taking the time to think about the things you are grateful for instead of complaining about the things you think you deserve or things in life that seem unfair.
- Write in a gratitude journal. Write down 2 or 3 things you are thankful for each day or use some gratitude journal prompts to make it easy to write about what you are grateful for in your life.
- Pray each day. Remember to express thankfulness for the good things in your life.
- Write a thank-you note to express gratefulness for something nice that someone has done for you or someone you care about.
- Take a moment during the day to quietly reflect on your blessings and what has happened that day that you appreciate. Go for a walk, enjoying the peace and beauty in nature, or turn off the radio while driving and make that a time to reflect.