It’s easy to always think about the things that we DON’T have in our lives (just scrolling your Instagram feed may bring up those thoughts), but taking the time to be grateful for the amazing things we DO have presents a world of benefits to our well-being. Expressing gratitude helps you see things that you may take for granted in a new light. Try making a gratitude list in your phone’s notes section (or anywhere else that works) and write 3 things that you are grateful for daily – it’s a simple, yet extremely effective practice.
Here are 7 reasons why you should practice gratitude in your daily life:
1. It makes you happier
Studies have shown that writing down what you are grateful for daily presents a boost in your overall happiness. Who doesn’t want to be happier?
2. It reduces your inner fears
It’s extremely hard to be both grateful AND fearful at the same time. Often fear presents itself when we are thinking about things that are entirely out of our control (“the scary unknown”). When instead you are seeking gratitude, you’ll be comforted in the abundance of love and comfort that you have in your life.
3. It’s reciprocal
Expressing gratitude to a friend or family member has been shown as a way to “pay it forward”. Whether they are returning the grateful act to you, or someone else, either way they are putting positivity back into the universe.
4. It strengthens your positive emotions
Gratitude reduces the feeling of “I’m not enough” and instead lets us experience positive and warming emotions. Over time, the brain’s wiring for positivity can strengthen and reduce those negative emotions.
5. It makes you more optimistic
By being grateful, you are looking at the positive aspects of your life (i.e. optimism). Positive and optimistic people are the ones that reach their goals and make a life worth living. Be grateful -> Feel optimistic -> Reach your goals! Simple.
6. It increases your self-esteem
Studies have shown that grateful people are more welcoming and kind – this often leads to their friends being more willing to help them and more appreciative of them in general. Knowing that you have a strong circle of friends and family is one of the quickest ways to boost your self-esteem.
7. It improves your sleep
Having your mind running through your fears when it’s time to fall asleep is one of the most frustrating things out there! By spending time before you go to bed to think through all of the things that you are grateful for, you can inflict your relaxation response and help guide you to sleep.