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With so much going on in the world, gratitude is one way to remove yourself from all of the negativity happening and focus on what is going well in your life. In fact, studies show the more we focus on what we can control vs. what we can’t, the happier we will be. In today’s post, I share 7 proven benefits of practicing gratitude regularly and how my family and I incorporate gratitude into our daily routine.

Why practice gratitude?

Scientific research* shows it benefits us through the following:

  1. Showing appreciation can win you new friends and open the door to new relationships

  2. Grateful people are more likely to take better care of their health and tend to be healthier

  3. It’s been linked to increased happiness and reduced depression

  4. Increased empathy and reduced aggression

  5. Better sleep

  6. Increased self-esteem

  7. Makes us better equipped to reduce stress and overcome trauma


How can you incorporate gratitude into your daily life?

Practicing gratitude is simple and quick. I spend a total of 5 minutes a day doing it and through just two methods. Here they are:

1. Write 3 things you are grateful for every single day. Make them as specific as possible and things that happened within the last 24 hours.

For example, here are mine for today:

· Going to the pond with my boys and seeing the swans

· Putting my phone out of sight for a few hours last night and not checking it

· Movie night and cuddles on the couch

2. Before you eat dinner, share one thing you are grateful for.

When I first shared this gratitude idea with my family, I got a lot of groans and whines. Now we have even extended it to say one thing that we are grateful for, one thing we are looking forward to and one thing that didn’t go so well (also referred to as rose, bud, thorn). It’s been proven to turn any grumpy moods into happier moods, especially if my boys don’t like what’s for dinner.

Plus, gratitude before a meal is especially beneficial. Our bodies relax more when we focus on what is going well, and we can digest our food better, meaning we absorb more nutrients. In other words, relaxing before we eat is essential to optimal digestion. 

Developing a daily gratitude practice leads us to live happier and healthier lives. I’d say that’s worth spending 5 minutes of time on each day.

*Source: Forbes.com, November 2014. Want to read more about the 7 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude? Read the full article here.


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