The art of being thankful: Why it's important to practice gratitude
A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way. You’ve probably heard this a million times, but that’s only because it’s the truth. Still, many of us are guilty of forgetting to acknowledge the good in our lives. That’s a pity because gratitude is linked to many mental health benefits.
According to science, being thankful is associated with greater happiness. People who appreciate the good in their every day feel more positive emotions, have improved health, and even build stronger relationships. What else could you wish for? If you still don’t practice gratitude, now is the best time to start.
We’ve gathered tips and tricks on how to be thankful and appreciate the good (and the bad) even when it may be challenging to do so.
The benefits of practicing gratitude
What’s great about practicing gratitude is that it doesn’t take much time. You’ve probably heard about gratitude journals. According to UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons (who’s also the author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier), keeping one can significantly increase your well-being.
Before you start this practice, we suggest getting yourself in the right mood with a series of actions that let your brain know it’s time to journal. That can be as simple as preparing a cup of fragrant tea, lighting a candle, or sitting down at your desk.
If you are a rebellious personality, you’ll be happy to hear there are no rules for practicing gratitude. However, there are a couple of tips that could help you make the most of the experience.
You don’t have to go all in to start experiencing the benefits of gratitude. Start small. Commit to dedicating at least a moment a day to think about the positives in your life.
Even if everything seems to be going wrong and there’s nothing to feel happy about, find at least one thing to be grateful for. It can be anything, for example, having a warm home, food on your plate, and a dog to cuddle with before you sleep.
To enjoy the benefits of being grateful, you must journal regularly even if the new season of Emily in Paris awaits you on Netflix, set aside at least a few minutes for the practice.
Try to be as specific as possible.
When writing your journal, try to be as specific as possible. Describe clearly what exactly is making you feel grateful.
Not a fan of journaling?
If you aren’t too big on writing, that’s okay too. Gratitude can be practiced in a number of different ways. You can say your ‘thank you’ out loud, give thanks before a meal, and help those in need. By assisting others, it will be easier to see the good in your own life. In fact, research shows that participating in volunteering can significantly improve your mood.
Another powerful tool is gratitude meditation, which is a treat for all the senses. Within the process, you should sit or lie down and focus on the specific feeling of gratefulness. Let yourself be immersed in it!
To sum up
As Ferris Bauller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” When you take the time to cultivate your gratitude, you’ll see how the world around you becomes a better place. Just listen to The Gratitude Podcast by Georgian Benta. Successful people acknowledge how powerful gratitude really is.
Don’t save your thankfulness for the ‘big’ things in life. A delicious cup of coffee. Snuggly socks. Your grandmother’s laughter. The first bite of a fresh croissant. Nothing is too small for you to be thankful for. Use Cloudberry’s tips and journaling ideas to practice your gratitude today!