Most of us have been asked at the Thanksgiving table what we are grateful for, but research has shown we should take gratitude beyond the holidays as it can be instrumental in improving social relationships as well as physical and mental health. Gratefulness has the power to enhance overall well being, so how can you bring more gratitude into your life?
Better sleep and making conscious efforts to reduce stress are both good first steps to more gratitude. Healthier eating habits have also been linked to improved gratitude. Fuel your body and be grateful for what it does for you every day! Hand in hand with better eating, heart health has also been linked to gratitude. In one study, keeping a daily gratitude journal helped patients lower their blood pressure and reduce the risks of heart failure.
Beyond these health tips, there are many things you can do in your day-to-day life to practice gratefulness, which you can find below.
- Take 5 minutes to feel grateful: Sit down and reflect on the good. You can reflect at the end of your meditation practice or even in the shower.
- Keep a gratitude journal: Last week we talked about how keeping a journal can boost your professional life, but writing about what makes you grateful can improve well-being and overall happiness as well. Writing things down helps us process life events and remember the good.
- Write a gratitude letter: Consider writing a note to someone you are especially grateful for. It will help you connect to your own gratitude and let them know how much their presence means to you. If possible, deliver the letter in person!