Gratitude helps us focus on the many positive people, places and things that fill our daily life. It is an awareness shift that fundamentally benefits us on a cellular level and affects our ability to see the glass half full rather than half empty. When we pause and reflect on things for which we are grateful, we can actually improve our health, reduce anxiety and depression, improve our immune system, and ultimately improve our mood. I like to say that practicing gratitude is like magic sauce for the mind and the body. How can you include this in your daily life—one idea is to create a gratitude journal and jot down 3-5 things that you are grateful for at the beginning or the end of the day. Research shows this has profound short term and even longer-term effects on overall health and outlook. Once you begin to journal on gratitude, you may notice a shift in your awareness of the simple and not so simple blessings in your life.
If you are or plan to be a parent, you can teach this to your children by encouraging them to share one or more things that they were grateful for from their day. This is literally a brain training activity that will lead them to be on the look out for things that they are grateful for that they can share. Research shows that children who practice gratitude are more resilient and involved in less risk taking and risky behaviors. They actually do better in school and engage in more extra-curricular activities. Let’s face it, life is challenging and simple (free) practices like gratitude, that enhance our journey moment to moment, are priceless!
Here is an article that presents 11 free gratitude apps if you think that might be a great way to kick off your gratitude practice-- https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-apps/