The Power of Practising Gratitude
Practising gratitude is a great way of improving your mental health and supporting your emotional wellbeing. Learning how to notice the small things and the things we take for granted every day, like a good cup of coffee or someone holding the door, can have a massive impact on your wellbeing.
In this blog, we cover more on why gratitude is so important and top tips to help you practise gratitude in your day-to-day life.
What is Gratitude?
The definition of gratitude is: ‘the feeling or quality of being grateful.’ ‘ A strong feeling of appreciation to someone or something for what the person has done to help you.’
Why practice Gratitude?
A study by Dr Robert Emmons, one of the leading minds on gratitude psychology, found that after studying more than one thousand people, from ages 8 to 80. The following benefits of practising gratitude have been observed:
- Stronger immune systems
- Lower blood pressure
- Exercise more and take better care of their health
- Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
- Higher levels of positive emotions
- More alert, alive, and awake
- More joy and pleasure
- More optimism and happiness
- More helpful, generous, and compassionate
- More forgiving
- More outgoing
- Feel less lonely and isolated
Appreciating what others do for us, increases our likelihood of doing things for them in return, creating stronger bonds with friends, family and colleagues.
Top Tips to Practice Gratitude
Interested in practising gratitude? Here are our top five tips:
- Try journaling
- By journaling, you can give yourself a set amount of time each day or week to sit down to recognise and focus on the positives. Think about the big and the small positives. Remember that person who held the door open for you? Or the coworker who always says hi to you? Journaling and practising gratitude helps you feel more positive emotions, highlights good experiences and develops stronger relationships with those around you.
- Remember what you’ve overcome
- To be more appreciative of your current circumstances, it is important to look back on the hard times to remember and celebrate what you have been able to overcome.
- Be grateful for your challenges
- Challenges provide a stark contrast to our happier times and can even add to our appreciation and gratitude when we are experiencing positive moments.
- Think about your relationships with others
- What have others done for you? This could be for friends, family, co-workers, or your network. Thinking about your relationships lets you appreciate the effort people put in for you, it can also make you think, what more you can do for others?
- Share with others
- Has someone gone out of their way to help you? Remember to let them know how grateful you are. Research has shown a lack of gratitude can hinder relationships, so don’t forget to reach out and say thank you.
So… the next time you find a free moment in your day, practise some gratitude. You might be surprised by the power of gratitude and the benefits it brings to your daily life. Start with once a week and see where that takes you. To read more on gratitude journals here.