Appreciating your life is essential if you want to live it blissfully. In times of adversity, positive affirmations and willpower enable us to survive gracefully and emerge as a stronger self, poised with great wisdom. Thus, gratitude is a powerful exercise that helps us live a more filling life. Interestingly, it can be learned and cultivated through meditation. To embrace the power of gratitude, you can practice journaling, meditation, or focusing on the small joys of life. If your practice it regularly, gratitude will offer a long-term positive impact on your mental, physical and overall well-being.
To learn and practice gratitude maintain a journal that contains up to 5 positive situations that you experience each day. Alternatively, you can practice gratitude meditation for up to 5 minutes. Take a few deep breaths before you begin mindful meditation, as more positive thoughts flow in a calm mind than in a stressed one.
Further, get in the habit of thanking everyone each day who serves or helps you. Write a thank-you note to someone who has made a difference in your life; it could be others or even yourself. Start your day with gratitude in your mind and heart.
Stop complaining or judging others and yourself; instead show appreciation for what you experience, as from every bad deed emerges goodness.
Maintain a gratitude journal, and daily pen down your thoughts, focus on five positive situations that you experienced. Those who pay attention to positivity are more likely to feel positive and observe their life from a positive standpoint instead of cribbing.
According to the journals of Emmons & McCullough, 2003; and Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005 – being grateful towards others and self can improve our long-term happiness by 10%
For positive mental health, gratitude is an important factor. According to research conducted in 2020, symptoms of depression and anxiety can be reduced by practicing gratitude, regularly. Further, a previous study indicates that enhanced mood and gratitude are interlinked.
Since gratitude nurtures positive feelings, it contributes to a sense of healthy living. If practiced regularly, you can thus improve your mental health.
Research conducted in 2014 indicates that gratitude decreases jealousy, promotes positivity, and makes us more robust. If we are grateful for life, how can we feel envy towards others?
Gratitude plays a key role in building and maintaining relationships. In romantic relationships, gratitude enables partners to feel more contented with each other.
A 2010 study conducted indicates that partners who express gratitude toward each other experience enhanced relationship gratification and happiness in their lives.
Expressing gratitude makes us think and feel more positively while imparting the same positive to others. In a 2014 study, writing gratitude journals daily improves optimism levels by 5-15%.
Hence, the more we feel and think about a grateful life, the more optimistic we become, which leads to improved mental and emotional health.
Gratitude contributes to holistic well being; from body to soul.
Stress lowers our immunity response to potential physical threats; hence an anxious or depressed person tends to fall sick more often. However, when we feel positive, our mental health improves, which leads to a better immunity level helping us fight infections easily.
A 2017 study suggests that regularly practicing gratitude reduces the risk of heart diseases.
Improves our sharing and caring ability
Practicing gratitude reduces our self-centeredness and makes us philanthropic. According to the journal of DeSteno, Bartlett, Baumann, Williams, & Dickens, 2010, it states that promoting gratitude in people nurtures the spirit of sharing, even if it’s a stranger.
People who practice gratitude are less impatient in decision-making, which boosts their ability to analyze the outcomes in shorter and longer duration. Hence, people in stressful jobs should practice gratitude to improve their decision-making ability to produce positive outcomes for their business, brand, or company and for their career aspirations.
The journal of Jackowska, Brown, Ronaldson, & Steptoe, 2016 discusses that participants in a two-week gratitude practice program improved their sleep quality and lowered their blood pressure, leading to enhanced health benefits for the body, mind, and soul.
If you struggle with sleep or wake up feeling fatigued, practice gratitude journaling exercise before bed. It will improve your sleep pattern, leaving you feeling rejuvenated in the morning.
The journal of Rash, Matsuba, & Prkachin, 2011, reports that participants in a four-week gratitude contemplation program experienced improved self-esteem and life satisfaction as compared to control group participants.
If feeling low, pray and show gratitude towards self, others, and the divine to experience circumstances in a better way, which can make you feel better about yourself.
The impact of gratitude reaches far and wide. Thus, cultivate and practice gratitude in your life, always; even when you are in the dumps. Remember, gratitude has the power to transform your body, mind, and soul and drive you to be a positive person who experiences and maintains positivity in themselves and their surroundings.
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