The Importance of Gratitude—and How to Make it a Habit

While we all know it’s important to pause and reflect on the people, places, or things that you are so fortunate to have in your life, it’s helpful to understand exactly how this practice can improve your mental health and well-being. A Forbes article titled “7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round” explains exactly that. Psychotherapist and international bestselling mental strength author, Amy Morin explains that gratitude improves psychological health, mental strength, physical health, and self esteem, results in better sleep, opens the door to more relationships, and enhances empathy and reducing aggression.

With a list of benefits like that, how could you not be tempted to practice gratitude daily?

In addition to understanding the importance of gratitude, I thought I would share some ways you can make gratitude a habit in your life:

  1. Work it into your already established habits: The best way to form a habit is to add it to something you already do (such as brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or putting on your coat). One idea: put your journal, notebook, or bullet journal on the sink in the morning so you see it as soon as you brush your teeth. This physical reminder will serve as your reminder to pick up the book and write!
  2. Include it in your journal: We all know how important journaling is as well, so why not start or end your day with TWO self-improvement habits and write down what you are grateful for each day too.
  3. Choose a number and stick to it: At the end of each day, I write down 3 SUPER SPECIFIC things I am grateful for on this Daily Download form. Having a set number takes the thinking out of a habit, plus 3 is pretty manageable!

BONUS IDEA: Challenge yourself to make one thing on your gratitude list something that may seem small to you, but could change another person’s entire world. Not everyone is lucky enough to have pens to write with, hot clean water to wash their faces, or books to read. So, think about the bigger picture each day and you will begin to see just how lucky you are to have the life you have. (I always write this down last so it sticks with me the longest.)

How do you plan to express your gratitude this Thanksgiving and beyond? I’d love to hear. Please share in the comments below!

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