The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
Last night I took a moment to press pause and watch the sunset. I find it easy to get caught up in whatever it may be that I’m doing and I forget to notice the beauty around me. This can be a dangerous road to travel down, and it can definitely lead to unnecessary stress and dissatisfaction. But even just taking a moment to breath, be aware, and practice gratitude can have extraordinary benefits.
I mean, how gorgeous is that sky?! In the simple process of pausing, gazing at the sky, admiring its beautiful colors, and reflecting on my day and weekend I was able to find a sense of peace and calm. My mood shifted and I felt thankful for so many different reasons. Gratitude can mean a lot of things to different people. It can be acknowledging blessings, giving thanks, noticing simple pleasures, and recognizing the good in things that you have received. It’s a perspective of awe and wonder and an awareness of the gifts in life. When we practice gratitude we are able to shift our thought process from one of lacking to one of abundance, and we are able to be in the present moment. Cultivating gratitude is a practice that we effort towards. A simple way you can add a gratitude practice into your daily routine is just by taking a moment to pause and write down (or mentally go through) 5 things that you are thankful for (maybe from that day or in general). I like to do this at night as I reflect back on my day, but it is also great to do in the morning as to start your day off with a grateful heart.
“Gratitude is a powerful process for shifting your energy and bringing more of what you want into your life. Be grateful for what you already have and you will attract more good things.” – The Secret
And just as a little motivation to start practicing, here are 5 simple benefits that can come from practicing gratitude.
5 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
1. It makes you happier. Simply put, when you are focused on what you have you are able to experience joy
2. You will appreciate each day and its unique gifts. Acknowledging the little things that you might take for granted (the sunset, your vision, a loved one) can help you identify the good in each day.
3. Stress levels will decrease. In the practice of gratitude, your mental habits and thoughts have the opportunity to re-focus, moving you away from stress.
4. Less negative emotions. If you are focusing on the good you cannot dwell on the bad simultaneously.
5. It opens the door for new/improved relationships. Demonstrating appreciation toward others can lead to new opportunities.