For folks who celebrate Thanksgiving, the holiday may include sharing what you are thankful or grateful for. But why limit this expression of gratitude for one annual holiday? Expressing gratitude regularly, especially daily, can have a huge impact on our lives. Specifically, the practice can improve our physical and mental health and allowing us to show up more consistently as kind, generous, and empathetic.
How does this work? Expressing gratitude helps us shift away from the negativity bias, or our brain’s natural tendency to focus more attention on bad thoughts, unfortunate circumstances, what we hate about people, etc. By regularly and consistently choosing to be grateful, you begin to experience life as abundant and you will see more of life’s gifts instead of life’s challenges. As Maria Nemeth explains in Unleashing the Energy of Money, when you experience life as abundant, you naturally want to give back to maintain the flow of giving and receiving. In this way, regularly expressing gratitude also makes you more generous.
According to a 2011 study in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, writing down what you’re grateful for before bed can help you sleep better and longer. So between sleeping better and seeing life as abundant, establishing a gratitude routine can really support you in showing up as your best self. If writing in a journal isn’t your thing, ask someone in your life to be your gratitude buddy and see what it’s like to express gratitudes to each other once a day for 10 days in a row. You can do it in-person, on the phone, or even via text. The impact is the same. Then sit back and enjoy as you begin to see your life as lighter and brighter. :)