Most of us know that it’s important to practice gratitude. Why? Gratitude has many positive benefits for our mental health and well-being. It can help boost our mood, change negative thought patterns, accept change, increase optimism, reduce loneliness or isolation, and relieve stress or pain.
It might seem hard to work gratitude into your already busy life. But here are some easy tips to make gratitude a regular practice:
Spend a minute or two every day to write down what you’re grateful for. Need more structure to journal your gratitude? Make a trip to Indigo (or online) and check out a one- or five-minute gratitude journal!
Tell people that you’re grateful for them. Sharing our gratitude helps to strengthen our relationships. This works both ways: it helps build positivity and well-being for both you and the person you’re appreciating. How do you feel when someone tells you they appreciate you?
Next time you notice an act of kindness from a friend, loved one, co-worker, or even a stranger, you can appreciate them by hugging them (maybe not the stranger!) or saying thank you. Why not take this a step further and write a letter to tell someone how much you value them?
Take a moment each day to appreciate the things around you. Try connecting to your five senses to be present in the moment. As I write this, I appreciate the feel of a cool breeze, the taste of peppermint tea, the smell of bonfires, the colours of the fall leaves, and the sound of my kids laughing. What do you notice in this moment?
Physical exercise has many positive benefits for our well-being. For example, go for a walk. Being mindful during your walk will help with gratitude. Notice how the ground feels underneath your shoes as you take each step. Is it rocky, soft, or uneven? What sounds do you hear while walking: cars driving by, horns beeping, birds, the wind? How does the air feel against your skin: is it humid and warm, or cool and breezy? What do you smell: grass, water, or street meat? Take a moment to notice your surroundings.
Now it’s your turn. What is one simple way you can add more gratitude to your life?