Do you ever feel like you need a pick-me-up? Like you could use something to help shift your mood to feel happier? If so, then gratitude might be the answer for you!
Scientific studies show that gratitude has a tremendous impact on your happiness level, and it shifts your perspective and makes you feel more satisfied with what you have.
Today's post will discuss how to feel happier using the simple act of expressing gratitude. Share ways that gratitude can benefit your life, and teach you how to start your gratitude practice.
How To Feel Happier In Just A Few Minutes
Gratitude is kryptonite to the constant inundation of negative daily news. It's far too easy to get wrapped up in the bad things around you and lose sight of the good. Gratitude helps melt away the negativity and shift your perspective to feel content and joy-filled.
According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, gratitude can immediately impact your mood. Participants were asked to write down five things they were grateful for and then rate their moods in the study. The results showed that the participants who wrote down gratitude experiences reported higher levels of positive emotions and lower levels of negative emotions.
What Is Gratitude?
Gratitude is the feeling of thankfulness and appreciation for what you have, and it's the opposite of envy, resentment, and regret. Gratitude is a positive emotion that instantly helps you feel happy and satisfied with life.
When you express gratitude, your brain releases neurochemicals, your feel-good chemicals that make you feel happy. Gratitude also shifts your perspective to see how fortunate you are instead of feeling like you need more.
What Are Feel Good Chemicals?
When you practice gratitude, your body releases chemicals like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. These chemicals make you feel good and help to boost your mood.
How Gratitude Improves Your Mental Health
There is a lot of scientific evidence that shows how gratitude can improve your mental health. It reduces stress and anxiety, helps you cope with traumatic events, increases self-esteem, and enhances your overall sense of well-being.
Can Feeling Gratitude Banish Negative Emotions?
It's not always easy to feel grateful when you are feeling down. But research shows that gratitude can help lift negative emotions.
When you focus on the good things in your life, it helps you feel more positive. One study showed that participants who wrote about gratitude every day for three weeks had a significant decrease in negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety, and depression.
Top 8 Health Benefits Of Gratitude
Scientists found that gratitude is not only effective at boosting your mood it also has incredible health benefits:
- Gratitude makes you feel happier. It releases serotonin in the brain, known as the "happy hormone."
- Gratitude reduces stress. When you're grateful, your brain releases less cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Gratitude improves your sleep. Grateful people tend to have better quality sleep and feel more refreshed in the morning.
- Gratitude strengthens relationships. Grateful people are more likely to forgive others and to be forgiven themselves. They also have more satisfying and supportive relationships.
- Gratitude bolsters self-esteem. People who are grateful for what they have are more likely to feel good about themselves.
- Gratitude enhances mental well-being. Grateful people have higher optimism, and satisfaction with life.
- Gratitude helps you cope with adversity. People who are grateful for what they have can better cope with stress and traumatic events.
- Gratitude makes you more resilient. Grateful people can overcome setbacks and challenges more easily.
The Power Of A Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal is a great way to practice more gratitude in your life. Every night, write down three new things you are grateful for that happened that day. If they are new things, you'll train your brain to be searching for positive things throughout the day to have something to write down at night in your journal.
What you are grateful for doesn't have to be big things, and it can be the way the sun felt on your cheeks as you walked into work to the perfect mixture of your morning brew.
Another study showed that grateful people have better physical health and sleep quality than those who are not thankful.
Keeping a physical journal is priceless. It helps you in the moment, and collecting your grateful thoughts is a beautiful tool to flip back to when you are having a bad day. It's a reminder of how good things are when it's a struggle to see the positive.
Gratitude Does More Than Boost Your Mood
Can you see why gratitude gets me so excited? It's powerful, all-natural, and you can access it 24/7! I can't wait to share even more positive side effects.
When you express gratitude, you experience more positive emotions, have a higher sense of well-being, and lower amounts of stress. Your physical health is better when you practice daily gratitude, which improves your sleep quality.
Grateful people tend to have strong social connections, have an abundance of self-compassion, can cope with difficult situations, and make others feel happier when they are around.
How To Feel Grateful Around Negative People?
It can be challenging to stay grateful when surrounded by negative people. However, there are a few ways you can maintain your positive mood around them.
First, remember that their negativity is not your problem to fix. Second, continue to focus on the good in your life when you are with them. One trick I like to do is say a gratitude mantra when I can feel their heaviness settling onto me. Lastly, you cannot control how they feel or see the world, but you can control how you react to their negativity.
How To Start Practicing More Gratitude
So how can you start to practice gratitude in your own life? Here are six ways to get started:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Every night, write down three new things you are grateful for that happened that day.
- Express gratitude. Thank your partner, children, friends, and everyone you contact during your day. Thank you for taking out the trash, brushing your teeth without being told five times, holding the door for me, etc.
- Give back. Volunteer your time or donate money to a charity that you care about. This is a great way to help others and feel grateful for what you have.
- Meditate on gratitude. Spend a few minutes each day thinking about all the things you are grateful for in your life. This can help increase your happiness levels over time.
- Bring happiness into your life. Surround yourself with things that make you happy: positive people, beautiful scenery, cute animals, etc.
- Think about the good in challenging situations. It can be hard to find anything to be grateful for when something terrible happens. But try to think about the silver lining in the situation and how it could have been worse. This will help you to stay positive and grateful even in tough times.
Gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things you can do to boost your mood and make yourself feel happier. When you focus on the good in your life, everything looks and feels better. Start practicing gratitude today and see how it impacts your happiness levels!
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