Gratitude is an intriguing concept. It has very little to do with how much you have or what your position is in life and much more to do with the personal quality of being thankful, of the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Actively practicing gratitude and pulling it toward you on a daily basis is important because it helps us to see a world that is bigger than ourselves. When we have gratitude, we can help each other grow personally or in business. We can help those less fortunate because we see and appreciate how much we already have.
Some of the benefits of gratitude include:
It helps you to be in the present by noticing what you do have and stopping to acknowledge it
Being grateful has the power to change your mood almost instantly from negative to positive
The simple act of gratitude has been scientifically shown to balance our heart rhythms and nervous system, leading to favorable changes in immunity and hormonal equilibrium, as well as increased production of the anti-aging compound DHEA.
Further benefits include a significant reduction in stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Those in the gratitude condition reported fewer health complaints and even spent more time exercising than control participants did.
Improved emotions when someone who has a chronic illness focuses on an “attitude of gratitude” instead of feeling negative.
5 Ways Gratitude Changes our Brains
Gratitude Improves Physical Health
Gratitude Improves Resiliency
Gratitude Activates the Brain Stem Region that Releases Dopamine and Serotonin
Gratitude Improves Sleep
Tips to Foster Gratitude
Keep a journal of or in some way note big and little joys of daily life.
Write down “three good things”—identify three things that have gone well for you and identify the cause.
Write thank-you notes to others.
Think about people who have inspired you and what about them was most significant.
Engage in “mental subtraction.” Imagine what your life would be like if some positive event had not occurred.
How do you practice gratitude during Difficult Times?
Just being around those you love can help you feel more grateful. Also, being more appreciative of life and feeling less cynical pushes you in a more thankful frame of mind. At other times, when you are facing a tough time, seeing it as a gift is useful. Even in hard times comes the opportunity to learn, to improve, and, most importantly, to give back.