How to Practice Gratitude: Daily Lessons on Being Grateful

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay -Pixel2013

Daily gratitude and appreciation go a long way: Being grateful is even scientifically proven to promote well-being and health. We’ll show you how to practice gratitude and live better by being thankful.

Being grateful means to be thankful and appreciative of a received benefit. This can be in the form of pleasure, contentment, comfort supplied or discomfort alleviated. Daily gratitude helps people focus on what they have rather than what they lack. Here’s how to practice gratitude on a daily basis and improve your quality of life.

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What Makes Being Grateful Healthy?

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Learn how to practice gratitude on a daily basis and you’ll promote your own well-being and personal health. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Allef Viniciu)

Learning how to practice gratitude promotes your personal health, well-being and mental health. These benefits to being grateful are scientifically proven.

Researchers Robert Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough took a closer look at the merits of daily gratitude in a study conducted on the topic. Participants were tasked with regularly keeping diaries and lists of what they are grateful for. Another group wrote about negative experiences during the day, and a third group wrote about the most important events in general. The study produced the following results:

  • Those who focused on the positive were generally more optimistic and took a more positive approach to their lives.
  • They tended to exercise more and were in better physical shape.
  • Those focused on daily gratitude were more likely to make progress in achieving important personal goals.
  • Visits to the doctor were more frequent among the comparison groups who logged neutral or negative experiences. The grateful group reported fewer complaints such as headaches or stomach aches.
  • Participants focused on being thankful were more optimistic with regards to their futures. Compared to the other two groups, this group showed a more optimistic outlook on the days to come.

Additional studies on the topics of daily gratitude and being grateful show equally interesting results:

  • A study with young adults showed that after the intervention the subjects were more attentive, mindful, enthusiastic, determined and had more energy.
  • People who did a daily gratitude exercise were more likely to help others with personal problems or provide emotional support.
  • Being thankful and showing gratitude can also lead to better quality of sleep.
  • Gratitude towards your partner is also important in relationships. If you can express gratitude to your partner, you not only have a positive attitude towards him or her, but you also find it easier to address concerns and discuss difficult topics with the other person.
  • Those who receive a thank-you more often at work tend to work with greater commitment and motivation.

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How to Practice Gratitude on a Daily Basis

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One way to practice being grateful is to jot down things you’re thankful for here and there. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Pexels)

Being grateful for what you have makes you happier and changes your outlook on life for the better. Here are a couple simple ways to practice gratitude throughout your everyday life:

  • The easiest one is quite obvious: Say thank you to the people around you more often (and mean it). This not only shows appreciation but also how to practice gratitude and encourages them to pass it forward.
  • Have you ever thought of writing a thank-you letter to someone important to you?
  • No time for a thank-you letter? Try being thankful for them or something they’ve done for you in your own mind.
  • Keep a daily gratitude diary: Write down the things, people, or experiences you are grateful for every day. By the way, writing a diary can be a healing ritual.
  • Can’t find the time to keep a diary? Take time once a week and list the things you’re grateful for. Key is to write them down.
  • Furthermore, you’ll also find helpful apps that remind you to take in your daily dose of gratitude or suggest exercises on how to practice gratitude.

This article was translated from German to English by Evan Binford. You can view the original here: Dankbarkeit: 8 Wege, um dankbarer und zufriedener zu werden

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