What’s the exact meaning of the word gratitude?
According to dictionary.com, gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Practicing gratitude can greatly impact your life. Making it a habit to incorporate into your daily life can significantly increase your well-being. You can feel more alive and rejuvenated. Get better sleep (who doesn’t love a great night’s rest). Have less moments of stress. Be able to communicate more effectively. Have a more optimistic outlook on life. Truly, the possibilities are endless. Practicing gratitude is so beneficial for your own mental health and learning how to put it into practice can go a long way.
So, what are 5 ways to practice gratitude and what are the benefits? Keep reading to find out.
When in doubt, journal it out
One way that has helped me on my own personal development journey was writing in a gratitude journal. One of the life coaches I worked with in the beginning of my healing journey provided one for me to use and it has been so helpful. Although I’ll admit that I don’t write in it as often as I should, those moments when I do sit down to reflect how my day went and what I am grateful for in the moment allows me to refocus and center myself. It’s especially helpful to journal when you’re dealing with some challenges life throws your way from time to time.
Practice gratitude to boost your mood
Research has shown that not only does practicing gratitude improve your mental state, it can also improve your physical health. You’ll have more motivation to take on healthier daily living habits, such as exercising and eating healthy. I’ve realized on my own journey that when I’m feeling like shit, I’m going to make shittier choices. I won’t have the drive or motivation to work out. I’d much rather eat something unhealthy than make a conscious decision to nurture my body with a healthier meal. Your mental and physical health coincide with one another on a daily basis and practicing gratitude can improve your overall quality of life. Practicing gratitude can boost your immune system, help with getting better sleep, have less tension headaches, lower your blood pressure and more.
Start your day off on a positive note
The alarm clock goes off in the morning and what’s the first thing you do? Be honest… You grab your cell phone and immediately start scrolling on social media. Not judging you, sis… I’m guilty of doing this too. But, what if instead of starting off your day to read the latest gossip blogs or seeing how many likes your latest post received, you started off with an act of gratitude. Waking up to see another day is SUCH an overlooked blessing that we take for granted. Think about it. Another chance at life. Another day to accomplish a goal or 2. Start off your day with positive feelings. Positive feelings lead to a better mood. A better mood leads to better productivity throughout the day. You’d be surprised how this small, daily practice can make a profound change in your life.
Meditate & appreciate
The benefits of meditation are truly endless. Incorporating gratitude in your meditation rituals can completely shift your mindset. Meditation can help you with gaining a sense of calmness and stillness, increase your self-awareness, learn more patience and tolerance, build skills to manage stress and so much more. There are several different types of meditation you can incorporate in your daily life, such as guided meditation (my personal favorite), mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, Qi gong, Tai chi, yoga and more. Explore which type suites you best and see how the changes start to happen. Remember, practice being intentional, not “perfect”.
Take time to reflect
A powerful tool I’ve used on my personal development journey is to reflect where I was to where I am now every now & then. I began building this platform almost a year ago (turning 1 on January 1, 2023🥳) and seeing how much I’ve grown is a huge driving force for me to keep showing up. While every day isn’t perfect and there are setbacks, I don’t allow myself to dwell too much on the negative anymore. Practice gratitude by being thankful that you’re no longer where you used to be in life. You’ve outgrown SO much and yet you’re still learning. Isn’t that beautiful? You survived a lot and that’s made you into a better person. Give yourself credit for making it this far. I know it hasn’t been easy, but you’re here for a reason. Realize that some of the best days and moments of your life are ahead of you. Don’t stop. Don’t quit. Keep showing up and don’t give up!
While the list of practicing gratitude is limitless, starting off with these 5 simple steps can help you on your own personal development journey. Let me know which tool(s) work best for you and drop more recommendations in the comments!
Wishing you all a healthy and happy holiday season. See you in 2023!🎉
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