Did you know that practicing gratitude makes us happier and healthier?
Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what one receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.
Research shows that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis:
- Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life.
- No time to write? Thank someone mentally. It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.
- Count your blessings. Pick a time every day or week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what you are grateful for.
- Pray. If you’re the praying kind, use prayer to thank God for things you are grateful for.