When was the last time you said thank you wholeheartedly? Thank you to your neighbour, your friend, your co-worker who helped you previously? Thank you to the sun for rising and giving you another day? Did you say thank you for the food and all the good things you have right now? Actively making the effort to say thankyou for the things within your life is the act of gratitude and it can be very powerful.
People who actively express gratitude are seen to be energetic or lively and are more likely to engage in activities that are good for their health like exercising and eating healthy food. The practice of gratitude encourages better decision-making in terms of lifestyle and daily habits. This leads to a stronger immune system that can fight off illnesses and infections.
But what does the word “grateful” actually mean? Being grateful is an act of gratitude. It is your act of showing appreciation and thankfulness. And this simple act of gratitude bears endless benefits to one's life including their physical and mental health.
Gratitude improves your physical health in many ways. Numerous studies have proven that the practice of gratitude has positive effects on health issues like cardiovascular health, stress and inflammation, pain perception, blood pressure, headaches, stomach pain, congestion, and poor sleep or insomnia.
Take a moment and look around you, then look at what’s in front of you. Look at the clothes you are wearing, the roof that has been protecting you, the clean water you are enjoying, and the food you’ve been eating. Try counting the blessings you’ve been receiving. They are a lot right. Being grateful is a humble yet very powerful act that many take for granted.
The continuous practice of gratitude also affects your mental health positively. By being appreciative of what you have you are more mindful of yourself and your environment. You appreciate yourself more and take better care of yourself. You are also in a better mood and clearer mind away from stress and sadness. Allowing you to make better decisions and think more positively.
By knowing and acknowledging the blessing you have you achieve a stronger mindset that can overcome difficulties. You are able to see the bright side of every problem and the opportunity behind every challenge. Gratitude allows you to focus on the positivity around you and reduces you awareness of the negativity. It allows you to focus on the good things so you can think less of any toxic or negative thinking patterns and spirals.
By showing gratitude you become more optimistic and have a more positive outlook on life. You feel more loved, more appreciated, and more connected to the people around you allowing you to live happily and peacefully.
So, how do you practice gratitude? There are many ways you can practice gratitude. Below are a few ways you can practice gratitude and add into your daily schedule:
Write down the things you are thankful for. You can do this every morning. By writing down five things you are grateful for you can start your day with a positive mindset and with good energy. Add in why you are grateful for them. I know it can sound stupidly simple and maybe even a bit cloud in the skies, but I assure you, a simple daily practise of gratitude can have a very profound impact on your life.
When you face a problem, take a deep breath and come up with something positive about the situation or think about something else entirely that you are thankful for. Sometimes it is about finding the hindsight of the situation while still in the situation. You always end up there, so why not bring it into your mind sooner.
Share what you have. If you have some extra cash buy some food for those who are hungry. If you see a stray animal, give it a little food or some water. Being able to give, gives you a great sense of joy in knowing you can make a difference.
Say thank you to the person who has given you a helping hand.
And the simplest and the easiest act of gratitude you can do is to smile. Smiling is the humblest and kindest way of showing gratitude. Be kind to the people you interact with. We have all been really going through it with covid, some people are using those hard times to treat others poorly. Be the person who makes someone’s day through a simple smile.
A lot of the time people are approaching life from the perspective of, I am not going to be okay, what if it doesn’t work, what if things fall apart? His tends to fill people with a floating sense of anxiety. Gratitude can really counter that, gratitude brings you back into the present moment. It keeps you in a better state of mind. It also helps you through difficult times. When you have the ability to look for the good around you, t makes hard times feel less impactful and like you have more control.
Practicing gratitude is easy. It doesn’t require lots of energy or effort from you, and you can do it for free. All it takes is just a little kindness, some sincerity, and a dab of humbleness from your heart. I invite you to try practicing gratitude today and make yourself, your life, and the lives of the people around you better. Gratitude makes the world a better place one person at a time.