It can be easy to take the good things in life for granted. Many of us don’t take the time to be thankful. But did you know practicing gratitude is good for your health?
Clinical trials have shown that practicing gratitude can lower blood pressure, improve immune function, and help you sleep better. Some studies have shown that stress hormones like cortisol are lower in grateful people. And practicing gratitude could actually reduce the effects of aging on the brain.
Here are four tips for making gratitude a part of your daily life:
1. Cherish your good fortune.
When was the last time you felt fortunate for basic things like food, clothing, and shelter? Reminding yourself that there are people less fortunate than you – some who are struggling to have even the basics in life – can help you feel satisfied with what you have.
2. Celebrate your successes.
Go ahead, you’ve earned it! Take a moment every week to think about your successes and achievements. Feel grateful for the opportunities you’ve encountered along the way. Remind yourself of some of the harder times in your life to help you realize how fortunate you are today.
3. Keep a gratitude journal.
Don’t just do this is your head – actually write down five things you are grateful for, no matter how large or small. Start by writing in your journal once a week, and work your way up to three times a week. As you write, remember the person, experience, or thing you’re grateful for and feel the joy that comes with it.
4. Be grateful for your health.
It can be hard to feel grateful for your health when you’re living with a chronic illness. But focusing on the good aspects of your health can have positive effects on your mind and body. And remember, you’re safe and supported!
To learn more about practicing gratitude, visit the Greater Good In Action website.