Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! As we just celebrated Thanksgiving here in the US, gratitude has been at the forefront of many people’s minds. It’s not unusual for us to be thinking about all the things we’re grateful for during this time, but what about the rest of the year? Why not keep that ‘attitude of gratitude’ year-round?
I know — it’s not always that easy, is it? Life is unpredictable and downright hard sometimes. There are days that we may feel that life is just one kick in the teeth after the other, but that’s just a feeling. The fact is that regardless of how hard things get, there are also things to be grateful for.
As an example, in last Friday’s post, one of the things I was grateful for was that my husband was recovering and almost back to normal. Saturday night, his symptoms started again. We certainly weren’t thankful for that, but we were thankful that his cardiologist had told us what to do if it started again so he didn’t end up in the ER this weekend.
Sometimes we have to look a little harder for the silver lining, but it’s there.
Being grateful doesn’t always come naturally to us, but if we can cultivate that ‘attitude of gratitude’ it can have positive implications for our overall well-being. According to Harvard Health, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
With this in mind, I thought I’d share links to a couple of the articles I found on the subject of gratitude and well-being. The second one, The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life is rather long, but it’s chock-full of great stuff!
7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude
The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life: https://www.happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/
Is Gratitude Good For Your Health? https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/is_gratitude_good_for_your_health
Once we see the benefits of cultivating that ‘attitude of gratitude’ we may be wondering where to start. Here are a few suggestions:
Cultivating An ‘Attitude of Gratitude’
- Say thank you. This seems like a no-brainer, but have you ever held the door for someone at the mall and they walked right through without even acknowledging you were holding the door for them? Of course you and I would never do that, but what if we’re forgetting to say thank you for other ‘run of the mill’ things? Remembering to be grateful for the small things can help us to realize we may have more to be thankful for than we realize.
- Choose one thing to be thankful for each day. Even on our worst day, we can usually find one thing to be grateful for if we look for it. Being intentional about looking is the important part, and if we make it our mission to find that one thing each day, we may start to find more than one.
- Keep a gratitude journal. For many people, keeping a journal with all the things they’re grateful for helps them to feel more positive about their lives. For those of us who use bullet journals, having some gratitude pages or even listing our ‘one thing’ we’re grateful for each day can help keep those positive thoughts at the forefront of our minds.
- Count your blessings. So we already know a lot of people have trouble falling asleep. What if, instead of counting sheep, we count our blessings? Even if we’re not having trouble sleeping, reviewing our blessings at the end of each day can help us feel more grateful.
How do you cultivate gratitude in your life? Please share!