DID YOU KNOW?
Being GRATEFUL has many health benefits. According to a recent study, practicing gratitude every day may help you sleep better, lower your body aches and pains and improve your heart health.
According to Harvard Medical School, gratitude is “a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature or a higher power.”
Grateful people are more patient. Gratitude practice fosters resilience by guarding against the feelings of frustration and disappointment. Practicing gratitude promotes increased levels of well-being. People who practice gratitude are found to experience more happiness in their lives. By practicing gratitude, you become more forgiving to others. It also helps reduce your stress levels and promote optimism in all the areas of your health and wellbeing.
We find ourselves focusing on the problems and stressors and forget that we have so much to be grateful for. We can practice gratitude by paying attention to the good things around us.
Here are six simple gratitude exercises that may benefit your health:
- Journaling: Write down 3 things you are grateful for in a journal every day or once a week.
- Gratitude Jar: Write down what you are grateful for everyday on small slips of paper and collect them in a mason jar.
- Gratitude rock: You can practice a mini mindfulness moment by placing a rock that you like (something that looks interesting to you) on your work desk or any place where you will see it every day. Pause for a moment when you look at the rock and think about what you are grateful for at that moment.
- Gratitude walk: Just take a walk on the greenway and listen to the sounds of nature. Take a moment to think about the things you are grateful for in your life.
- Gratitude prompts: Just fill in the blanks –
I am grateful for the things I hear_________
I am grateful for the things I see __________
I am grateful for a friend ________ a family member ______ Etc.
- Gratitude meditation: You can spend 10 minutes every day to reflect on the good things around you by using Greater Good in Action’s gratitude meditation resources.
These gratitude exercises are all great ways to practice self-care! Set aside a few minutes each day to pause and check-in with yourself. Try journaling, going on a short walk, meditating or listening to music. Use this time to evaluate your stress, take a break from work/life events, practice gratitude or whatever else helps you feel better.
For more resources on how to practice gratitude, check out the CDC’s How Right Now campaign.
*Post originally written in 2019 by Archana Revenkar, MPH, MCHES, NBC-HWC. Updated in 2021 by Annalise Hafner.
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