October 29

What is gratitude and how to practice it?

You may have heard people speaking about gratitude, practicing it, and writing some weird lists. So what is gratitude and how to practice it?

The word gratitude comes from the Latin root gratus, meaning thankful and pleasing. The old Webster's Dictionary defines gratitude as, "an emotion of the heart, excited by a favor or benefit received; a sentiment of kindness or good will towards a benefactor".

If practicing gratitude causes us to feel pleasant, happy, and joyful, why do we still focus on things that make us feel unhappy, sad, stressed, and even depressed?

If you recall some event that made you grateful, how did it influence you? How did it influence your mood, day, efforts, relationships, and work? Did things seem to be better, greater, more amazing, and more magical? Or was it worse, crappier, and full of s**t? I bet it was better and greater.

Benefits of gratitude practice

Did you know that scientists have studied gratitude thoroughly? So, what are the benefits of practicing gratitude? Gratitude can:

  • increase well-being
  • strengthen family connections and friendships
  • expand awareness
  • ease stress
  • improve mood
  • enhance life satisfaction
  • improve mental health significantly
  • reduce depression.

There are even more scientifically proven benefits, which you can find here.

Would you like to start practicing gratitude and increase your well-being, mental health, awareness, and life satisfaction? And how about decreasing your stress and depression? 

How can you practice gratitude?

It is simple. All you need is a pen and a notebook. If you are more into digital things, then there are many free note apps you could use for that.

Before you go to bed you can go through your day and recall what happened.

You can ask yourself: "What am I grateful for?" and then write down everything that pops up. 

It can be a sunbeam waking you up, the delicious breakfast that you ate, the bus or train being on time, the praise that you received from your boss, or a relaxing evening that you spent with your loved ones. It can be everything and anything that has evoked that ‘emotion of the heart, excited by a favor or benefit received’. 

How many answers should you write? There is no right or wrong amount. A longer list teaches you to be more present and to notice and acknowledge all these moments that are pleasing and make you happy.

Can you practice gratitude only in the evenings? No, not at all! You can be grateful at any time of day. You can be grateful and express your gratitude right after something great, amazing, and magical happens. If it better suits your schedule, you can write your list in the morning or during your lunch break. 

Do what works for you!

And if you would like to have a special gratitude journal where you can fill in your daily lists, you can find the printable Gratitude Journal here.


Tags

Easy Tools, Gratitude, How To, Printable


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