3 WAYS A GRATITUDE PRACTICE WILL MAKE LIFE BETTER
May, 10, 2021
Actions speak louder than words, right? Sometimes maybe, but a gratitude practice is the perfect unison of your words and thoughts paired with your actions and behaviors. When we create a mindful gratitude practice, we focus on the positive and our actions tend to follow our thoughts of thankfulness and appreciation. Mindfulness is closely linked with our behaviors.
On average, it takes 66 days to form a habit--the 21 to 28 day is a myth! It is far easier to wrap your head around making intentional changes for yourself for 3 weeks than it is for 8 weeks. This means you have to take action 66 days intentionally, and not only make a decision every day to change a pattern in your standard routine, but take action on that decision.
Gratitude works in the same fashion. It may not be something that always flows out of you, and will be much harder some days than others. Practicing gratitude may be easy for you when things in your life are going smoothly, but imagine continuing your gratitude practice when you are in poor health, fail a test, biff a presentation, or lose a loved one.
Alternatively, imagine a scenario when you use a practice of gratitude as a coping mechanism when things get hard. It may be easier to draw on the small positives when life knocks you to your knees, but when things get easier, it may be more convenient to skip your practice. You may feel you no longer need to focus on what you are grateful for as your head space improves to Point B when you compare it to the hardship-- Point A.
Here are 3 benefits you can expect from creating this new habit and implementing a gratitude practice in your daily life.
1. Self Discipline:
Forming a new habit for yourself is hard! It is something that is going to require commitment, effort, intention and self discipline. Strengthening these areas of yourself does take practice, but has major payoff. If you have enough self discipline in your life to create a new habit, this is going to show up in so many other areas of your life. You will find yourself to be a better employee, a harder worker, more focused at the gym, a better listener when you are with your friends, and a stronger person. Self discipline is an area that gains momentum over time, and the more your focus on strengthening that skill, the more
2. A Joyful Mind:
There are so many things that plague our mind, such as grief, depression and anxiety. But did you know that when you practice gratitude, your brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the "feel good" chemicals? These are two chemicals that your brain releases to feel 'happy', and practicing gratitude is directly correlated to the emotion of joy. Personally, when I feel anxiety, I take 5 long and deep breaths, and create a quick mental list of 3 things I am thankful for. It helps my brain slow down, feel positive, and I feel a bit of the anxiousness slip away.
3. Strengthened Relationships:
If you spend time reflecting on the relationships you are grateful for, how is that going to change that relationship? This is not a rhetorical question! If I spend time reflecting on what an incredible woman my mother is, I guarantee you I will end up sending her a text, calling her, or driving to meet her for coffee for some quality time. These small actions help establish a deeper connection with a person you are thankful for, and makes them feel loved.
You can read more about gratitude journaling in our Ultimate Guide to Gratitude Journaling post. Gratitude goes so much deeper than just three benefits. Gratitude has the power to change everything and we believe it has the power to change the world.
Change the world.
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