Practicing gratitude not only lifts your mood, calms your mind and improves your relationships with others but it makes you notice and appreciate even the small wins in your everyday life. If you're a believer in the Law of Attraction and the fact that like attracts like and positive energy attracts more positive outcomes into your life then gratitude is a great way to amplify this.
The more you are grateful for the people and things around you, the more often you will start feeling gratitude.
How Do I Practice Gratitude?
The two main ways we practice gratitude involve affirming the good things that we have and the good news we receive and the second is to acknowledge the good that others bring to our lives. We can do this in a few different ways which include:
Keeping a gratitude journal: This is one of my favourite ways to practice gratitude and it involves writing down all of the things and people you are grateful for. This can include positive moments from your day, nice things people have said, good news you have received, gifts you have been given, achievements you have accomplished and the lovely people you have been around. Practicing this task daily will surely lift your mood instantly and shows you all of the good that you have in your life.
Looking back: Whilst living in the past or going over past mistakes is usually a bad idea, looking back to how you used to be and seeing how far you have come since last year, or even 5/10 years ago can show you just how much you have accomplished in life. Are you further in your career now? Earning more money? Growing into a better person? Away from toxic people and relationships? Travelling more than you were? Healthier now than you were then? When you look back in this way you will be surprised at how much personally and professionally you have actually achieved and overcome.
Express gratitude: This is another exercise I find great to really lie your mood. Often we can take people for granted even for the smallest of things and that's why taking the time to say 'thank you', to buy some flowers or write a lovely card can not only lift your mood but life your mood also. Start showing gratitude to others a lot more for the things they do for you.
Notice the small things: How often do we take the smallest of things for granted? Being surrounded by nature, a bright blue sky, warm sun on our skin, the fact we have perfect eyesight or good health, the blessing of being able to walk and move our bodies. Start noticing the small things in life, they may seem minor to you but somebody, somewhere is praying for these things so don't take them for granted.
Be mindful of your language: Focus on using positive vocabulary such as 'I can', 'I will', 'I'm going to', and stay away from negative words such as 'I can't', 'I'm stressed', 'It's never going to happen.' Using positive language and positive thoughts has been proven to decrease stress and depression as they decrease cortisol and increase serotonin.
How Does Gratitude Benefit the Brain?
Practicing gratitude has been proven to help relieve stress, pain and sadness. The parts of the brain associated with gratitude are also part of the neural networks that light up when we experience pleasure. These regions also help to control heart rate, arousal, stress relief and pain reduction. Practicing gratitude creates a relaxed body state and decreases stress levels which provides is with great health benefits. Gratitude appears to contribute largely to our well-being and physical health and also to nurturing and building strong relationships with others.
As you can see, the benefits to practicing gratitude are huge! Why not start your gratitude journey today by telling us 3 things you are grateful for in the comments?