Practising gratitude is a game-changer for our lives. Gratitude has incredible effects on our mind and body, from improving our mood, resilience, self-esteem and happiness, to strengthening our relationships with others, to reducing blood pressure, sleep quality and overall health. That’s pretty powerful stuff.
Expressing gratitude may seem like a simple task but can be challenging when our lives are overwhelmed with stress, anxiety and uncertainty – whether it be due to COVID-19, chronic health issues, or major life events such as loss.
The path to gratitude is different for everyone, but the central idea is that it takes practice. Incorporating gratitude into your everyday in small ways is the key. How? Let’s break it down.
You don’t need to start a new habit or activity each day- you can practice gratitude during your daily routine.
While brushing your teeth, you can list 3 things in your mind you feel grateful for. Place a small sticky-note on your mirror as a visual reminder, and before you know it, it will become part of your routine.
Having a set of questions on hand can help guide your gratitude practice.
You can say your answers out loud, write them down, or visualise them in your mind – whichever works best for you.
Try these out:
- What about today was better than yesterday?
- What made you smile today?
- What skills did I use or what did I learn today?
- Who was kind to me today?
- What was the most delicious thing I ate today?
- What am I looking forward to?
- What did I enjoy listening to today?
- What activity did I enjoy most today?
Extending gratitude to others makes us feel, them feel good, and the relationship stronger. It’s a win-win-win! Next time your partner, friend or family member does something which makes you smile or something which you appreciate, tell them “I’m grateful for you” or “Thank you for doing that today, that made me happy.”
Need some help? Try listening to a gratitude guide or meditation, such as this video from Headspace:
Seek additional support if you feel that you are struggling with mental health.
This article is for informational purposes only. Consult your local medical authority for advice.