Gratitude. Noun. – The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for, and to return kindness.
So why should we practise gratitude every day? There are two very good reasons why. Practising gratitude every day helps to remind us of all that’s good in our lives – a great way to boost your mood. Plus, it also helps us to see who brings goodness into our lives, and allows us to give thanks to all those people who make our lives so good.
Science has also showed that those who are grateful are happier. A UC Davis study conducted in 2010 found that teenagers who are grateful had higher grades, higher life satisfaction, better social integration, and lower envy and depression when compared to materialistic teenagers.
Being grateful has plenty of benefits. These include:
- reducing symptoms of depression
- lowering blood pressure
- improving sleep
- increasing long-term happiness
- boosting our self-esteem
- making us more resilient
So how to do it?
- Try keeping a gratitude journal. This could be written down. It could be drawn. It could even be as simple as taking time during the day to look back on the good things that happened that day.
- Concentrate on avoiding negative thoughts. When you feel yourself about to complain or criticise, actively push those thoughts away.
- Make time too to appreciate the little things. If you’re not used to actively noticing the small things, going outside and feeling the wind in your hair could be a good place to start.
- Write thank you notes.
- Look on the bright side. When you’re faced with a bad situation, finding at least one thing that’s positive can help to make things not feel so bad.