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9.17.2015

Making time for gratitude

It’s no secret—life can be busy. We often get so caught up in our lives that we don’t take time to stop and smell the roses. It can be difficult to slow down and appreciate what you have, rather than always wanting more. Making time for gratitude is necessary for well-being, emotional and mental health. That is why September 21st has been declared World Gratitude Day!

Benefits of Gratitude

Do you ever feel stuck, unsatisfied and unfulfilled? If so, you may want to try expressing gratitude. Being gracious for all that you have while appreciating others can have a big impact on your well-being and increase feelings of happiness, subsequently reducing stress and negative emotions. It can help you feel more confident and satisfied with your life. Gratitude has even been shown to improve quality of sleep. An optimistic attitude and better sleep increases your energy levels. Additionally, research has concluded that counting your blessings and showing appreciation for others benefits you emotionally and socially as you improve your interpersonal skills.

Try these tips to help you cultivate your gratitude!

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Whether handwritten or digital, keeping a journal of all of the positives in your life can help foster a sense of gratitude.
  • Mind your manners. “Please” and “thank you” can go a long way when interacting with others. It demonstrates respect and appreciation. Practice sincerity so the recipient knows you’re truly appreciative.
  • Write a note. If there is someone in your life that has had a significant positive impact on you, tell them in a handwritten note. Not only will it make them feel good to receive it, you’ll feel good sending it.
  • Compliment someone. Saying something nice to at least one person a day can make them and you feel good. At the same time, if someone compliments you, accept it sincerely with a smile and thank you–avoid brushing it off.
  • Spend quality time with someone you appreciate. Plan an activity to do together just for the fun of it.
  • Take a few moments each day to sit quietly and meditate on all the things for which you are grateful.
  • If you’re religious, you can show your appreciation through prayer.
  • Always write thank-you notes. If someone sends a gift or does something nice for you, thank them for it in a sincere and heartfelt note.
  • Give to those in need. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate food, send care packages to hospital patients, or visit an eldercare facility. You’ll improve someone else’s day and your own!
  • Make gratitude a daily habit. Every day, write down three things you are grateful for and one thing that you’ll do for someone else. Making this a daily habit yields great results!
  • Don’t dwell on the negative. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade! Turning a negative experience into a positive experience can help you grow and learn to appreciate each experience for what it is—an opportunity to learn.

For Health Advocate Members

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to our Wellness Program, call us today to connect with a Wellness Coach for more tips to keep you healthy.