The value of practicing gratitude
There is a significant and growing body of evidence showing the clear links between gratitude practice, being grateful regularly and health outcomes. Far from being a fluffy or overly positive activity, gratitude is a powerful force. Particularly when times are tough and challenging it’s worth exploring the value that gratitude can have on your here and now experience.
Gratitude practice has been shown to be a better predictor of life satisfaction, being less anxious, less depressed and happier than those who don’t practice it. Being better able to cope with challenges and setbacks due to being more likely to seek social support, reinterpret negative events and take the learning from those negative events. Therefore boosting resilience as well as getting better sleep.
If you could find a medical treatment that could give you all that, you’d make a fortune. But no fortunes required here, just a shift in mindset and some shifts in behaviour. So here are four top tips for building gratitude into your daily life:
Make gratitude part of your day every day. The more often you practice gratitude, the better results you get according to the research. You could try starting your day with noting down 3 things you are grateful for, starting a gratitude journal or reflecting at the end of the day the 3 things you are grateful for that day.
Make gratitude part of your day every day. The more often you practice gratitude, the better results you get according to the research
Paul Brewerton — YC Co Founder
Try and find gratitude in all different aspects of your day. Don’t miss the small moments, like the taste of your morning coffee, a beautiful sunrise, the feel of rain on your face, or a chance chat at a shop with someone you haven’t seen for a while.
Remember the people important to you and how grateful you are to them. Dropping them a text is amazing. Calling them and speaking to them is even better. There is good research also in this area that by showing gratitude in this way to people, they are more likely to do the same. That’s also true for showing kindness and compassion. So if you go out of your way to vocalise your gratitude or pass it on in some other way, it’s highly likely that you will start a chain reaction of gratitude that makes a difference to dozens of people, not just one.
Being grateful for our challenges and problems and setbacks and taking the learning from them is another area of focus for gratitude. So when you’re faced with setbacks, ask yourself – what can I learn from this? What have I learned from this? What will I do differently next time, if anything? The more we are grateful even for the tough stuff, the more resilient we become and the better able we are to cope with change.