Gratitude can help lift our spirits.
Some days it may be hard to feel gratitude, particularly if something really bad has happened to you, but it can be helpful to try gratitude if it feels right for you.
Here are some reasons to give it a shot:
- Gratitude can help us see life in a different way. Gratitude can help us see more of the good stuff that is going well in our lives, which we sometimes miss.
- Gratitude feels good. Gratitude has been linked to reduced stress, increased happiness and support better emotional health. In time, you’ll notice the small annoyances or worries will get to you less and less.
Studies also show that practicing gratitude every night for just one week can decrease depressive symptoms for up to six months.
- Gratitude can stop us from constantly comparing ourselves to others. We compare ourselves to others because sometimes we think other people have something we don’t. Gratitude can bring the focus back on ourselves, what’s great about us, our unique strengths and abilities, and what’s good in our lives.
- Gratitude can help break the cycle of never having enough. We usually spend a lot of time getting hung up on goals that we want to achieve. Gratitude can help us stop and enjoy all the things we’ve already achieved. It’s the secret to always having enough.
Tips for starting a regular gratitude practice:
- Write it down. Writing down what you’re grateful for can help you slow down and really think about it.
- Remember the small, simple things. It’s usually the small, simple things that make us feel better when it comes to gratitude. Think about the details of what you’re grateful for, and remember, they don’t have to be big. For example, “I appreciate that I heard my favourite song today.”
- Dedicate 5 minutes each day to write down at least 1 thing you have noticed and appreciated. Once this has gotten easier, in time, you’ll find you can easily see more things to put on your list. Go with the flow on what amount feels good – this is not a competition, but an exercise on noticing things in your life that are making you happy.
- Have a specific place for your gratitude list, so you can check it on days when you’re feeling down. This could be a gratitude journal, a list in your phone’s notes, or even a gratitude jar filled with your gratitude slips of paper. This place is like your dedicated pick-me-up on down days.
- Try doing it first thing in the morning or before bed. It will help you feel good and set you up for the day, or set you up for a good night’s sleep.