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Living a Life of Gratitude

What if I told you that implementing one small change in your daily life could have vast benefits for your social, mental, and physical health? That your life could be much more fulfilling and joyful by spending five minutes of your day doing one thing differently? You probably wouldn’t believe me, would you?

It’s true. Multiple areas of your life can be enhanced and improved just by simply expressing gratitude. Gratitude, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is the state of being grateful.

The key word there is “state.” Gratitude isn’t something that you express or reflect on when life is looking up and the positives are obvious.

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar

As Ziglar stated above, it’s something that takes practice and daily engagement in for an individual to experience the full benefits. So, let’s discuss that in further detail. What exactly are the benefits of living a grateful life?

Gratitude can improve your relationships.

Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated? Expressing gratitude to those you love can nurture and strengthen your relationships. It also encourages your loved ones to reciprocate your gratefulness and express appreciation as well.

Gratitude can improve your mental health.

Expressing gratitude can increase an individual’s appreciation for their body and emotional health. In turn, encouraging them to engage in more self-care. Gratitude can also increase overall happiness. Rather than seeking happiness through forms of instant gratification, which is fleeting and less fulfilling, practicing gratitude requires a mindset shift which allows for longer and more sustainable happiness.

Gratitude can improve your physical health.

Research has found that gratitude can directly impact your health by reducing cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, and even increasing your life expectancy. Gratitude also has an effect on your attitude which helps to change your perspective on things. This change in perspective impacts what you are capable of physically and mentally.

 

So now that you know why living a life of gratitude is important you’re probably wondering how to do it. It’s super simple and you can use any or all of these ways below to implement more gratitude into your life each day.

Keep a gratitude journal.

Spend 5-10 minutes each day jotting down what it is that you are grateful for that day. It is easy to disqualify the positives in our life, especially when everything seems to be going wrong. Taking time each day to focus on the positive helps to attract positive energy. This puts things into a better perspective for us. Also, remember to appreciate the small things in life. Not everything in your journal has to be big. You can be grateful for something as small as your morning coffee.

Practice mindfulness.

It’s difficult to slow down and appreciate the world around you when your mind is going a million miles an hour. Practicing mindfulness allows you to be present and experience the world exactly as it is. There are tons of mindfulness meditations on YouTube or apps that you can download to get you started. Start by practicing 5-10 minutes a day right when you wake up in the morning or at night right before bed.

Be kind to others.

Make it a point to show appreciation to others daily. Send an email or text to your partner each day letting them know one thing you are grateful for. Tell your children when you appreciate something they do to help around the house. Volunteer or do something kind for others. Showing appreciation for others and practicing random acts of kindness, even if it’s as little as flashing a smile, increases positivity in your life and gives you more to be grateful for.

If you’re ready to live a happier and more fulfilling life of gratitude call us at Amy Wine Counseling Center today. We can be reached at 832-421-8714 or contact us here.

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Ashley McMann

Ashley McMann is an LPC-Intern, Supervised by Dr. Jerry Terrill, DMin, LPC-S, LMFT-S. She enjoys working with young children in play therapy and psychotherapy with young adults.
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