The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
It’s been said before that the more grateful you are, the more you will have to be thankful for. I am a true believer of this! These days, you might think of practicing gratitude as some ‘trend’ or something popular because unfortunately, that is the route it appears to have been taking. But the reality is that practicing gratitude has ancient origins of millions of years ago. Practicing gratitude is commonly known as the mood of being thankful. It’s also been studied and found that practicing gratitude has a great number of health and well-being benefits like improving your sleep, experiencing less aches and pains, lower blood pressure, enhancing your self-esteem, an increase in positive attitude, optimism, and compassion, along with many other physical and social benefits.
I began practicing gratitude back in 2013 when I had just begun my journey of a healthier lifestyle. Years before, I had already discovered the power of self-healing but there were three things that I had yet to discover; Yoga, meditation, and the practice of gratitude. So it was late 2013 when I took my first Yoga classes at home. A month later, I was already feeling great, and two weeks after that, I began meditating and practicing gratitude with a gratitude journal. I would write in my journal every morning, and every night. Each morning I would be thankful in advance for what I would be receiving and achieving that day, which helped me lived mindfully. And each night, I would thank God for the experiences I had throughout the day.
Living mindfully changed my life and it has brought many benefits to my well-being. I have yet to go back to my Yoga classes, but being grateful for my everyday experiences helps me in many ways. It makes me a happier person, I have an increase in my goal achievement, I feel better physically and spiritually, and It helps me to give attention to what really matters the most.
Like everything else you want to be successful in, it takes practice! And although there are infinite ways to practice gratitude, these exercises and practices are great to start with. Just remember to practice every day or at least, every other day!
Journaling. Keep a gratitude journal and pay attention to the things that you are grateful for.
Gratitude box. I mentioned one of these in my Holiday Gift Guide and they are very practical. You can keep one on your desk, beside your bed, or inside your bag. Give thanks for at least 3 things you experience daily.
Gratitude jar. Find a jar and decorate it how ever you want. Write down what you are thankful in slips of paper and keep them in the jar. Over time, you’ll see that there are many things to be thankful about!
Gratitude rock. This idea came to mind because of my son, but later on I learned that they would actually call it ‘gratitude rock’. Years ago, my youngest son found a rock at a river at decided to keep it and call it his ‘lucky rock’ and he would carry it everywhere! Just like this, you can find a rock and carry it with you, or keep it in your desk, at every time you see or touch the rock, pause for a moment and be thankful for something you have experienced throughout the day.
Forest or Nature walk. Now commonly referred to as Forest Therapy, taking a walk around a nature area, being mindful about your surroundings and being thankful for what you see and feel, can make you feel happier and less stressed. The sound of the birds, the feeling of the breeze in your face, take it all in! This might need a bit of practice at first, but then you’ll be able to practice this without any distractions and you will be amazed with the benefits.
Meditation. Practicing meditation has a long list of benefits on its own. Pairing it with your practice of gratitude doubles these benefits! Practice a gratitude meditation at least 10 minutes a day. If you’ve never done meditation, guided meditation is a good place to start. You can find apps like Stop, Breathe and Think and HabitMinder to guide you and create daily alerts so that you don’t forget to do your meditation practice.
Gratitude Apps. If you’re more of a tech person, you can still practice gratitude with an app! As an iPhone user I’ve found these apps to be helpful but I’m sure there’s also plenty of them in the Google Play Store for Android users.
I hope you can give yourself a chance to experience the great benefits of practicing gratitude. If you already do this as part of your lifestyle, I would love to hear about your experiences! ♥️
Yanitza Ninett is a Lifestyle & Portrait Photographer based in Orlando, serving the Central Florida area, St. Augustine and Georgia. Her blog, Pieces of Me, features most of her work, along with photography tips, lifestyle sessions, personal experiences and travels. Yanitza Ninett documents Engagement Sessions, Beach Weddings, Seniors, Family Sessions & Boudoir. The YN Experience characterizes by giving an unforgettable photography experience along with professionalism and dedication. We are about telling stories...your story! Contact us for more info!