We know that life gives you plenty of reasons to moan, from the weather to work stress and traffic issues or your annoying neighbor (to name a few) there’s always a reason to feel irritated or grumpy about something, right?
The truth is there’s also so much to be grateful for. By switching your mindset and focusing on what you do have rather than what you don’t, or what is right in your life rather than what isn’t, you can tap into the incredible benefits of giving thanks and boost your mental health overall.
In a nutshell, gratitude helps to reduce daily stress, improve sleep, boost your mood and help you feel connected to those around you because it’s the glue that keeps communities together. When your parents taught you to say, “thank you”, perhaps it wasn’t for good manners alone.
Here are four reasons why giving thanks is really good for your health, and how you can harness the healing power that comes from being thankful:
1 Gratitude helps you gain perspective
According to a recent report by Harvard Health, being grateful may help you to see the bigger picture and connect to something larger than yourself — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power. It takes the focus off your immediate stresses and struggles and helps you to appreciate all the good in your life.
2 It improves your mental health
Positive psychology research highlights that counting your blessings can help you to feel immensely happy and less depressed in general. In addition, researchers found that writing in a gratitude journal is even more powerful and can significantly improve your mental health, rather than simply thinking about what you appreciate in life. The study showed that those who used positive words rather than negative ones in their writing were happiest overall.
To set the tone for the day ahead, make gratitude your first attitude when you wake up. Think about the positives in the day ahead. And, throughout the day, look for opportunities to give genuine compliments – and be good at accepting them, too. Kindness towards others goes a long way!
3 It boosts your physical health
Practicing gratitude not only makes you feel happier and improves your mental health, but it also does wonders for your physical health.
Studies show that grateful people experience less depression and stress, have lower blood pressure, more energy, and have greater optimism. This shift in attitude also enhances sleep patterns and contributes to a healthier heart.
4 It helps your relationships grow
There’s no doubt that feeling grateful for your life helps to boost happiness overall. And, according to researchers at Berkley, gratitude can grow and cement meaningful connections with others too.
“Gratitude helps us to initiate, maintain, and strengthen our relationships. Gratitude may make our romantic relationships closer and more satisfying, encourage us to feel more invested in friendships, and even cause us to be more helpful co-workers.” Why? Because we’re viewing the world from a positive headspace and appreciating those around us. Gratitude also allows you to focus on the good in people.
A simple way to practice gratitude
Mindfulness and gratitude go hand in hand. Next time you’re in the mood for a walk, take yourself for a stroll around the park, neighborhood, or along the beach. Leave headphones and cell phones behind. Look upwards at the sky and clouds and appreciate the feeling of sunshine or rain on your skin. Be in the moment.
Our founder, Tanya Doveton shares what she’s most grateful for:
- Bumps in the road that pushed me onto the right path
- My health and health of my family
- The opportunity to launch my dream brand
- The quality time I get to spend with my husband and kids
- The opportunity to raise my kids in a safe place
Our aim is to spread love and kindness wherever we go and to encourage you to do the same, whilst loving yourself along the way! So, for more mindfulness tips and content like this, be sure to sign up to our newsletter or check back on our blog.