Giving gratitude doesn't just feel good, it's actually been scientifically proven to improve your health too.
Besides just feeling good, giving gratitude has been shown to scientifically improve ones life. In studies, those giving gratitude on a regular basis felt better about their lives overall, were more optimistic about the future, and reported fewer health problems than the other participants. Interestingly, they also reported getting more sleep, spending less time awake before falling asleep and feeling more refreshed in the morning.
Giving gratitude is a powerful activity. There are so many things to be grateful for and appreciating the every day small things can bring a fulfilling sense of purpose and joy into ones life. Try giving gratitude for everything- even the usual- such as rain, or sunshine, a bite of food, catching two people on the street give a kiss, the ability to breathe, an animal enjoying its day, a call from a friend, the ability to support yourself...and on and on....this list in infinite.
Remembering that gratitude is a choice, is key. You don't have to have a million dollars, a soul mate, a nice car, a big house, or anything at all for that matter, to feel grateful. There is enough amazingness in your own mind and soul to feel grateful just for that. There is always a reason to feel grateful. Gratitude is a choice, a possible response to our life experiences.
How can you bring more gratitude into your life?
1) Keep a Daily Gratitude Journal
Just as it sounds... Write down everything you're grateful for in a little book or notepad. Write as many things as you'd like, any time of the day. The act of writing allows you to see the meaning of events and moments in your life and create more of those meaningful moments.
2) Use Visual Reminders
Visual reminders help you stay focused. Forgetting or loosing awareness to the greatness of every moment is easy, so give yourself come visual reminders. Try post-it notes everywhere: fridge, mirror, car, bed, or set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you every so often to be grateful.
3) Have a Gratitude Partner
We are effected by those with whom we spend our time. When we are around ungrateful people, falling into their ungratefulness can be easy. Find yourself a gratitude partner like you might an exercise partner. Share your daily gratitudes with them. Not only will it hold you accountable, but you will also get to hear about all the amazing things they are grateful for too.
4.) Change Your Self-Talk
We all have an inner dialogue. Changing it's tone and even going so far to change what you're saying to yourself, can increase your gratitude and state of mind in wonderful amounts. Be grateful for yourself and your ability to choose your thoughts and inner chatter and not just be a victim to their mindless chit chat.
If you're curious about gratitude research, check out: Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton Mifflin, 2007).