Practicing Gratitude; The Why, How, and What

Hey friends! So I have had a ritual for the last couple of months that each morning I reflect about the previous day and write and least three good things that happened that day. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small events, just three things that I am grateful for.

In doing this each morning, it helps set my tone for the whole day…one of gratefulness and mindfulness. I love how it has enhanced my life so wanted to share with you the why, how, and what of being grateful, and then challenge you to practice it daily.

The Why:

1. It’s Good for you mentally. Being grateful makes you happier. Gratitude increases dopamine and serotonin in your brain. These higher levels let you experience an increase in positive emotions such as excitement, joy, and optimism.

It helps in fighting depression and anxiety and has been shown to enhance empathy and reduce aggression.

2. It’s good for you physically. In a 2003 paper published by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, college students who wrote about things they were grateful for just once a week for 10 weeks reported fewer physical symptoms (such as headaches, shortness of breath, sore muscles, and nausea) than students who wrote about daily events or hassles.

Also there have been many studies that find practicing gratitude helps us sleep better, which in turn, helps us stay healthier.

3. It’s good for you spiritually. Taking time each day to sit, reflect and gives thanks just makes your soul feel good. It helps you be present and mindful. It helps you to connect with your life and not just blindly run through it. It helps you see that there are a million cool things that happen each day, big and small, and it helps you recognize the universe at work.

The How:

Now you know some of the benefits, now what?

Well, to reap the benefits of gratitude, consistency is key. Yes, you may feel some benefits right away such as mindfulness and such, but others take time.

As we practice gratitude, the happy-producing pathways in our brains strengthen. That takes time and that takes consistency. Most studies I have read say about ten weeks, some studies say more, some say less. Don’t worry about the time, just make it a daily habit and awesome things will happen.

So how you practice it each day is entirely up to you. You can come up with a list, you could write a letter to someone expressing your gratitude, you could journal about it…there’s no “right way”.

The only thing I would say is super important is that you do it each day and that you actually write out your list, letter, whatever with pen and paper. Don’t just type it on your phone or tablet (unless you have to).

There have been so many studies that show again and again when you physically write out things it effects the brain differently than typing on a keyboard; you are more connected to your thoughts when taking pen to paper.

The What

So now you know why you should be grateful, and how you are going to track it each day, so…what should you be grateful about?

Any and everything.

Being grateful is not reserved for just the big monumental things in your life; it’s for the little things, too (and everything in between).

You could be grateful for your pet, a good hair day, your favorite song coming on the radio, your morning cup of coffee, finding a penny on the ground…etc.

That’s what’s kind of cool about this. The more you practice gratitude, the more you start noticing (and being grateful for) all these little things you really never noticed / thought about before.

Give Thanks

Now you know the why, how and what…time to get busy! Stop reading this post, grab a pen and paper and get to giving thanks! If you can’t do it right now, then set an alarm in your phone to remind you later when you can.

Thank you for visiting and reading my post. Peace and cheers to a great day! ✌️

4 thoughts on “Practicing Gratitude; The Why, How, and What

  1. I can attest to the benefits of gratitude. I have been adding at least three ‘gratitudes’ to my daily journal every morning for quite some time. They can be little things like the visit of a woodpecker outside my door or big ones like indoor plumbing. Thanks for reminding us of this simple daily act that can have great benefits for our days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love this! Yeah it’s crazy how taking time and writing down a few things to be grateful about really does change your mindset…and it just makes ya feel good! And for me, it’s changed my perspective so that if a bad situation happens, I instantly focus on the lesson or “bright side” of it rather than getting all down about whatever it is. Thanks so much for your comment and have an awesome weekend!! ✌️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my post – Yoga breathing exercises can sharpen your mind. I am enjoying my visit to yours. As a person who practices positivity, I can attest to your post on gratitude. it is definitely a virtue to be practiced daily.

    Liked by 1 person

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