Do you want to live a happier, more fulfilled and joyful life? Practicing gratitude is key! While the word “gratitude” may feel old-school, cheesy, or cliché, put in practice, gratitude becomes an incredibly powerful brain training exercise. When you cultivate a positive mindset, develop an attitude of gratitude, and program your mind to focus on the good, your life stands to benefit in a myriad of ways. Neuroscience and positive psychology studies have listed out the following PROVEN benefits of practicing gratitude:
- Grateful people are more generous, less depressed, and all around happier.
- Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
- Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people report fewer aches and pains, they report feeling healthier than other people, and they are more likely to take care of their health.
- Gratitude improves psychological health and reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy to resentment to frustration and regret.
- Grateful people sleep better. With as little as 15 minutes of gratitude practice before bed (writing down a few grateful sentiments before bed- SEE JOURNAL PROMPTS at the end of this blog!), you may sleep deeper and longer.
- Practicing gratitude boosts our self-esteem.
- Practicing gratitude improves our friendships and romantic relationships.
- Gratitude improves empathy and reduces aggression.
- Gratitude increases mental strength and strengthens family relationships in times of stress.
- Gratitude reduces impatience and improves decision making capabilities.
- Gratitude enhances optimism.
- Gratitude helps us find meaning in our work.
- Gratitude reduces blood pressure.
- Gratitude assists in recovery.
Pulled from the archives of Harvard Health: “Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.”
Gratitude is a skill and mindset we can cultivate with practice, and the benefits are BOTH immediate and long-term!
If you aren’t sold yet, let’s take a look at what life without gratitude looks like! According to Neuroscientist Rick Hanson:
“Without gratitude, life can be lonely, depressing and impoverished. Gratitude enriches human life. It elevates, energizes, inspires and transforms, and those who practice it will experience significant improvements in several areas of life including relationships, academics, energy level and even dealing with tragedy and crisis.”
Ready to build your own special gratitude practice? Repeat these affirmations of gratitude in the morning after waking up, and complete one journal exercise before bed!
But wait- what are Gratitude Affirmations? Gratitude affirmations, like positive affirmations, are thoughts you consciously choose to think. Because the thoughts that are repeated in your mind create the feelings you experience inside, repeating gratitude affirmations every morning will help keep your mood elevated throughout the entire day! No gratitude affirmation is too small or insignificant when it comes to enhancing your mental health. Practice gratitude consistently for 30 days and see for yourself!
15 Affirmations for Gratitude
- I am grateful to be alive and I am grateful for my life!
- I glow with the energy of gratitude and positivity.
- I am enough, and I have enough.
- Today, I am making the choice to be happy and to focus on the good things in my life.
- I am bright, I am light, and I am full of joy!
- Being grateful makes me beautiful from the inside out. I am radiant, and my good energy is constantly attracting good things and good people into my life.
- Finding things to be grateful for comes easily, effortlessly, and naturally to me.
- I notice the good, value the good, and appreciate all of the good things that make my life so unique, so special, and so wonderful.
- Every day I notice so many things, big and small, to be thankful for.
- I am grateful to be ME! There is nobody else in human history quite like me. There will never again be somebody exactly like me. That is my superpower.
- My gratitude for life is deep rooted. It is so much stronger than any challenge or annoyance that pops up. My happiness and contentment are unshakeable.
- Even when I encounter hard things, I find reasons to be grateful and thankful.
- I love being alive and soaking in all that life has to offer.
- I wake up with a smile on my face, ready to embrace the day and all of the good things coming my way.
- I am so grateful for all the things and reasons I have to be happy right now. There is nothing else I need to do, buy, or achieve, to be happy in this moment.
Complimentary 30 Day Gratitude Journaling Exercise
- Day 1: What 3 people in life are you most grateful for?
- Day 2: What memory in life are you most grateful for?
- Day 3: What is one accomplishment or goal you are grateful for achieving?
- Day 4: What in nature are you most thankful for?
- Day 5: What lesson in life are you most grateful for experiencing?
- Day 6: What are 3 things about yourself (inner qualities or external characteristics) are you most grateful for?
- Day 7: List 3 things that are going right in your life right now
- Day 8: What are you most grateful for in your city / where you currently live?
- Day 9: What is a future event you’re excited about?
- Day 10: What about your childhood are you most thankful for?
- Day 11: List 3 things you appreciate about your body
- Day 12: What about your home are you most grateful for?
- Day 13: What is the biggest gift in your life right now?
- Day 14: List 3 things you appreciate about your family
- Day 15: What is something that brings joy to your life?
- Day 16: What about your country are you most thankful for?
- Day 17: What holiday or vacation memory are you most grateful for?
- Day 18: List a hidden blessing in a difficult situation
- Day 19: List a memory that makes you smile.
- Day 20: What item do you treasure most?
- Day 21: What is something that made you laugh in the last week?
- Day 22: What is the best gift you have ever received?
- Day 23: What is something beautiful you witnessed, experienced, oe encountered this last week?
- Day 24: List 3 people you don’t personally know (role models, leaders, historical figures, etc.) whose lives / work / contributions have helped or influenced you in a positive way
- Day 25: What is your favorite song and why?
- Day 26: List a valuable lesson you have learned in life, and how it’s made you a better / stronger you!
- Day 27: What about your job are you most thankful for?
- Day 28: What is one good thing that happened in the last week?
- Day 29: What experience in the last 30 days are you most grateful for?
- Day 30: What experience in the last year are you most grateful for?