The holidays often encourage many to reflect on what they are most grateful for in life. Cultivating gratitude can lead to amazing benefits, not just during the holiday season but year round. Some of these include:
- Improved relationships with others. Having an attitude of gratitude makes us nicer, more appreciative, enhances empathy, and reduces aggression. As a result, it can help us deepen our friendships, improve our marriages, and help us develop new positive relationships with others.
- Improved mental and physical health. Gratitude helps us to better cope with stress, increases self-esteem, and helps in boosting our coping skills when challenges arise. It also boosts our immune system. Research has also shown that gratitude can help individuals have more energy and more and better sleep quality.
- Career boost. Gratitude can lead to better decision making, people skills, and can help boost productivity and goal achievement.
Gratitude has some amazing benefits! So how does one better cultivate this attitude of gratitude? Consider these four quick tips for increasing gratitude.
1. Keep a gratitude journal
Write down one or two things every day that you are grateful for. Get creative—searching for those small things like having warm water for a shower or a bed to sleep in can help to develop an attitude of gratitude. Reading through past entries can also provide a positive boost when needed.
2. Share your appreciation
Let others know that you appreciate who they are or what they have done. How to best show appreciation will depend on the person (a written note, a small gift, taking someone to lunch, giving a hug, etc.) but a sincere thank you is always appreciated.
3. Look for the positive
How we interpret the situation can impact our future thoughts and feelings. For example, when facing a challenge, look for the potential benefits such as increasing patience or empathy for others. Ask a friend or family member for help when it seems difficult to see any positives from a situation.
4. Create a list
Some people need a visual reminder to maintain mindfulness of gratitude. For those individuals, it may be helpful to create a list of people or things that they may often take for granted and place it where they will see it often.
If you haven’t already, consider giving yourself the gift of gratitude this holiday season. It is free, doesn’t take much time, and the benefits are enormous, long-lasting, and one of the simplest ways to improve life satisfaction.
This research and information was provided by Naomi Brower