It’s that time of the year when people begin to think about what they’re thankful for in spirit of Thanksgiving. Although it’s amazing to practice gratitude for the holiday season, there are tons of benefits of focusing on your gratitude daily.
Sure, it may seem tough to come up with a list each day once you’ve mentioned your essentials. I’m talking about family, friends, a home, a job, or even your happiness. But there are a ton of things to be grateful for that you can dig deeper to uncover each and every day.
For me, I struggled with getting past tough situations in my life. The death of my brother, loss of a job, insane student debt… the list goes on. These are things in life that most people deal with in different ways, but they feel so heavy when they’re on your shoulders.
Yet, when I look deeper into these horrible situations, I’m able to see the greater side of it. In other words, I’m grateful for the relationship I had with my brother, the jokes we shared, the great times that I can recall and smile to myself – I’m lucky I had a brother at all to add so much value to my life. And even though he’s not here with me anymore, I can think of more and more reasons why I’m grateful for him because honestly, the list will never end.
With that said, it may seem tough at first, but there are tons of reasons to open your mind and heart to think about the things you’re blessed to have in your life. Here are 4 benefits of focusing on your gratitude daily:
1 – Gratitude improves your relationships
When you reflect on the people you’re grateful for, you’re allowing yourself to clearly see the great relationships you have or even the ones that helped shape you. By taking it a step further and sharing your thanks with your loved ones, you will connect on a deeper level. So often we don’t tell people why we’re glad to have them, so sharing this is something that everyone appreciates.
2 – Gratitude increases your happiness
Practicing gratitude and acts of kindness allow our brains to flood with dopamine. This means that our brains feel a natural high due to this increased level of dopamine. Thanks to this “natural high”, we become addicted to the feeling that it brings us so we’re more inclined to continue feeling gratitude and being kind to others. So once you get into the habit of it, you might not be able to stop!
3 – Gratitude makes you sleep better
I used to have a hard time falling asleep. My mind would race with anxious and negative thoughts that kept me up late into the night. After really sitting and thinking about my gratitude, sleep comes easier and more peacefully each night. A study confirmed that “more grateful people reported falling asleep more quickly, sleeping longer, having better sleep quality, and staying awake more easily during the day.” You can check out the study to learn more about its sleep benefits!
4 – Gratitude strengthens your mindset
Unfortunately, there are a ton of bad times that knock us down or make life seem unbearable. Understanding that there are countless reasons to be thankful and knowing the things you’re grateful for will help you overcome obstacles much easier than if you’re focusing on the negatives. In fact, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published a study in 2003 with findings that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience even in the midst of terrorist attack.
Although now is the time to reflect on what you’re thankful for, doing so more regularly could positively impact your life. The 4 benefits of focusing on your gratitude daily are all directly linked to your daily life. By reflecting on what you’re thankful for, you will improve relationships, increase your happiness, sleep better, and have a stronger mindset during tough times. This simple action could drastically improve your quality of life – why wouldn’t you want to try it?
Tell me, what have you noticed when taking time to focus on your gratitude each day?