The benefits of practicing and living in gratitude are well-documented. People who are living in a state of gratitude are likely to experience increased positive emotions, sleep better, feel more alive and have stronger immune symptoms. It might take work and a shift in perspective at first, but the more we practice gratitude through daily exercises, the easier it will be for it to come naturally. Plus, gratitude tends to be contagious, so you may even help those around you through your shift in perspective.
Other benefits to practicing gratitude include:
- Easier time making friends: Thanking new acquaintances makes them more likely to seek out a lasting relationship with you. Positive, meaningful relationships are a great source of gratitude.
- Improved physical health: People who practice gratitude tend to have fewer aches and pains, are compelled to exercise more often and have better overall health.
- Enhanced empathy: People who are thankful are less likely to show aggression, less likely to hold onto anger and are more likely to show empathy towards others.
- Increase in mental strength and self-esteem: Gratitude allows people to have over-all higher self-esteem, mental strength, and resilience to rebound from stressful situations.
With so many positive effects, it is worth it to give daily gratitude practices a try; even a tiny change in perspective can make a big difference! If these ideas are overwhelming, let our Chico behavioral health professionals at Therapeutic Solutions support you in making a plan of action to increase your wellness.
Ways to Practice Gratitude Daily
Below are 5 ways to incorporate gratitude practices into your daily routine. Choose the options that feel most interesting or relatable to you, or think of your own ways to incorporate a deliberate mindset of gratitude daily.
- Start a gratitude journal: Journaling is a proven way to improve mental health, so a gratitude journal has multiple benefits. Start by writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for each day. Don’t worry about structure, complete sentences or how it looks. As you ease into this practice, you can expand on your thoughts if you would like. It helps to choose a time each day and make writing in your journal a priority. Setting a reminder on your phone or calendar can help establish a routine.
- Carry a gratitude rock or memento: The idea of a gratitude rock or memento is to have a physical reminder of a mental “task” that can help you to live in a state of gratitude throughout the day. Each time you feel the item in your hand or pocket, think of one thing you are thankful for at that moment. When you take it out of your pocket or put it down for the night before bed, reflect on all the things you were grateful for throughout the day.
- Go for a gratitude walk: Walking has benefits all on its own, but if you incorporate thoughts of gratitude into your physical activity, it takes on a whole new meaning. As you walk, observe the world around you and think about the things you are grateful for. Examples can be “I am thankful for the sky above, the feet that are carrying me, the air I am breathing, the wind in the trees.” Become aware of everything around you from the trees, to the feeling of air on your face, from the smell of the flowers you pass by to the sounds of the city around you. Multiply the effect by sharing this walk with a friend.
- Meditate on gratitude: There are many ways to meditate, either with music, silence or with a guided message. It is easy to find gratitude meditations online if you prefer some direction or facilitation. If you do not have access to a guided meditation, you can create one yourself. Sit or lay down in a quiet, comfortable place, close your eyes and focus on the things you are grateful for as you slow your breath and remain still. Calming your actions and your senses while zeroing in on gratitude creates a mindfulness exercise that has major mood-boosting effects.
- Send a message of gratitude: Take a moment each day to send a friend, family member or loved one a message of gratitude. It can be a phone call, email, text message, social media message or even a handwritten letter. This will spread the joy and help you to stay in the mindset of being grateful for the things and people that make your life better.
Chico Mental Health Services
At Therapeutic Solutions, we approach behavioral care with a personal and comprehensive touch because we know that a “one size fits all” approach does not address each patient’s needs and goals. Our team understands that your mental health concerns are unique to your personality, your history and your behavioral tendencies. We will work with you to find treatment options that will best fit your timeline for recovery and the struggles you are facing. Let our team of Chico behavioral health professionals help you to see a brighter future.
Contact our team to discuss how we can help you today at (530) 899-3150.