Gratitude is like a superpower for your mental health, and everyone has access to it.
Practicing gratitude is a simple yet powerful tool to improve overall well-being and all it involves is focusing on the positive aspects of life and celebrating every big and small accomplishment. Here are some of the benefits of practicing gratitude and how it can positively impact your mental health.
According to research, a single thought of gratitude can produce an immediate 10% increase in happiness and 35% decrease in depressive symptoms. By focusing on the good in your life, you will boost your mood and increase positive emotions which can improve our overall outlook and increase feelings of contentment.
When you focus on the things you appreciate in life, it naturally shifts your attention away from troubling thoughts and problems, creating a calm state of mind. A study found that feeling gratitude can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol which can help you handle overall stress in a more positive way and improve your physical health.
Practicing gratitude can also improve your relationships with others. When we express gratitude towards others, it can deepen and strengthen your relationships. By focusing on the positive qualities and expressing gratitude towards others, you can deepen your connection and create more meaningful relations with people around you.
Research from a study found that participants who showed gratitude were more resilient to emotional setbacks. Increasing your sense of positivity and optimism can help you better cope and ‘bounce back’ from difficult situations.
All of the above benefits come together to promote quality sleep, and we all know how important sleep is for our daily lives. With less stress and a better mood, you can help yourself receive a better night’s rest and keep up the everyday cycle of feeling mentally healthy.
So, how do you start practicing gratitude? Start by taking a moment to appreciate the things you like to do in your free time. Think about the people around you that support and value you and consider the positive impact they have had on your life. Recognize your hard work, dedication, and successes. Sometimes, it’s the simple pleasures that bring you the most joy like reading a good book, watching the sunset, or a warm cup of coffee. Whatever it is that brings you joy and a sense of appreciation for the life you're living, be sure to prioritize it as often as you need to.
By creating a positive emotional environment for yourself, you can give your mental and overall health the best chance of feeling good. So take a few moments each day to express gratitude. Celebrate the small things. It’s worth it.
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