What's up, Stonedvet Army?
Since this week is Thanksgiving, I wanted to write about gratitude.
First off, I want to take a minute to stop and say thank you for supporting Stonedvet and reading my blogs, I appreciate your support!
Most of us hear that we need to practice gratitude at some point in our lives. But, no one ever really goes into why we should practice more gratitude.
According to Harvard University Health, "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, being grateful also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power." The Harvard article goes on to state, "In positive psychology research, 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."
Why Is Gratitude Good For You?
Gratitude is expressing appreciation. By acknowledging the things that you're appreciative of, you're actually setting yourself up for future success. Here are just a few benefits of expressing gratitude.
- Start to look for and find the good in life
- Improves empathy
- Reduces aggression
- Strengthen Relationships
- It helps to improve sleep
- Become less depressed
- Improves physical and mental health
- Improves resilience
- Reduces perceived stress
- Healthier heart
- Stronger Immunity
- Breathe easier
As you can see, there are quite a few benefits to including a bit of gratitude in your daily routine.
4 Ways to Use The Power of Gratitude
1) Don't make Assumptions - Assuming that others are aware of our gratitude often causes us not to express our appreciation outwardly. Think how many times in the past you would have liked a little acknowledgment—remembering to express gratitude when you're grateful will often be a welcome surprise.
2) Understanding The Value of Gratitude - Don't make it awkward, but expressing gratitude is part of your daily routine leads to numerous positive benefits for you and the recipient.
3) Write It Down - Making a list of events you're grateful for will unlock the power of gratitude to increase your sense of wellbeing. Try it; at the end of each day, quickly jot down a list of at least three things you're grateful for.
If you were ever deployed, you already know the value of a letter - send them out!
4) Kick it Old-School - Sit down and write letters to loved ones. Express the impact they've had on you and your life.
Make It Sticky
Six tips for success with practicing gratitude:
- Make it routine
- List at least three things you're grateful for daily
- Be genuine
- Always say why
- Variety is the spice of life
- Find the way that works best for you
Gratitude is something that is lacking in today's society. Too many people feel entitled anymore, and even a simple "thank you" is like pulling teeth. By practicing mindful gratitude, we can be grateful for what we have, even if it's not what we think we want or desire.
Researchers have learned that a person's happiness level could be stabilized over more prolonged periods when grateful. Because someone with a grateful heart has a much more positive outlook on life, make "Thank You" an essential phrase in your vocabulary. Say "Thank You" when someone does you a favor or even offers you a simple act of kindness.
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." ~ Oprah Winfrey
How to Express Gratitude
- Sincere thanks
- Thank you
- You're the best
- I owe you one
- You rock
- What would I do without you?
- I can't thank you enough
- I genuinely appreciate you/it
- How kind of you to
- You've been very helpful
- What you've done means a lot to me
- I thank you from the bottom of my heart
Use the next week to pay attention to the little things that happen in your life, and answer these questions:
- What made me smile today?
- What beauty did I see today?
- What was one small victory I had today?
- What simple pleasure did I enjoy today?
- What act of kindness did I witness today?
- What skills did I use today?
Write down your answers to start your gratitude journal.
What are you grateful for? Comment below and let us know. We would certainly be grateful for your feedback!