16th January 2020
by HealthyMe Digital

Gratitude seems to be a bit of a buzz word at the moment with many blog posts, podcasts and articles addressing the benefits and suggesting that practising gratitude will lead you on the path to happiness and contentment.  So what is meant by ‘practising gratitude’? Gratitude simply means giving and expressing thanks.  Practising gratitude is the action of doing so consciously and intentionally. And as with most things, such as exercise, regular practise will allow the benefits to be fully realised.  

Research suggests some of these benefits are:

  • improved emotional and social wellbeing
  • a more optimistic outlook and better overall moods
  • improved self-esteem
  • greater capacity to forgive – yourself and others
  • decreased anxiety and depression
  • having a less judgemental view and becoming more accepting of others and their differences
  • improved relationships

How can we start practising gratitude? Here are some simple ideas that you can start doing now:

  • keep a gratitude journal – everyday record 3-5 things you are grateful for (make sure you include the why)
  • if keeping a journal is not your thing try one of the many apps available
  • say thank you often – especially to those who serve you
  • take a few moments throughout the day to stop, breath and consider your surroundings – this may prompt you to be thankful for the hot cup of tea on your desk, your work colleagues or the home you are in
  • write down a list of things you appreciate about yourself
  • tell your partner three things that you appreciate about them

Psychology and science back the idea that practising gratitude is a good health choice as we will often feel happier and more optimistic because of it.

Gratitude is a choice, a habit, an attitude.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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