“Gratitude” is everywhere right now. Thanksgiving is past, so what’s the big deal? The big deal is that a little change in your attitude can profoundly change your life. And practicing gratitude is one of the easiest, most effective ways you can achieve this.
If you want to try it, without further ado, here’s the how-to:
Once a week write down 3-5 things you are grateful to have or have experienced that day.
That’s it. Super fast. Super simple.
You can also try these variations:
- Don’t replicate anything you’ve written before
- Think of three nice things about each person or situation that makes you upset during the day
- Write a thank you note to someone else
- Don’t write physical items, rather write about relationships or experiences
- Say “thank you” to ten people each day
- Take a friend or coworker out to celebrate a success (with undivided, cell-phone-off attention)
How does it work?
Immediate benefits include calming a racing mind by focusing your thoughts on specific events, replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts to lift your mood, turning off your fight-or-flight survival response and allowing the higher brain to work, and the release of dopamine – the feel-good chemical. Your brain is adaptable. Use it or lose it, yes, but also train and re-build it in better ways. Practicing gratitude in any way feels good (remember the dopamine release), and your brain seeks out ways to make itself feel good, repeatedly. Therefore, once you start a gratitude practice, your brain will start to look for more things to be grateful for. Saying or writing thanks to others will also improve your relationships and encourage them to practice gratitude to others and so on and so forth. Talk about changing the world!
Other benefits are:
- Improved sleep
- Lessened depression and anxiety
- Fewer aches and pains
- Better exercise patterns
- Better eating patterns
- Richer relationships
- Feeling happier and more optimistic
- And much more!
Still not convinced? I challenge you to try it. If it’s not for you, hey, no problem. Maybe try a few of the ideas listed above to see if one works better for you. However, if you realize that it only takes one minute, one day a week to become a happier, more well-rested, less in pain, more positive person who attracts more positive things to herself, then maybe you will want to keep up the practice.
I am grateful for you, lovely! Share in the comments below how you practice gratitude and the benefits you have gained.