How to Start a Gratitude Practice

Being thankful can have a tremendous impact on your quality of life. Gratitude reduces toxic emotions such as envy, resentment, frustration and regret. At the same time, it can enhance feelings of empathy and improve self-esteem.

Gratitude helps us recognise and appreciate what we have, putting challenging situations in perspective and making us happier overall. According to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health & Wellbeing, writing in a gratitude journal before bed can also improve our quality of sleep.

Gratitude has even been shown to enhance physical health. A 2012 study featured in the journal Personality and Individual Differences revealed grateful people exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups with their doctor, therefore improving their long-term health.

Gratitude Practice Arranging Summer Blooms

What is a Gratitude Practice?

Although gratitude is easy to access every day, doesn’t cost any money and doesn’t take much time, it’s often overlooked as a tool for self-care. We all have the ability to cultivate gratitude, but we’re not hard-wired to feel thankful – it requires practice.

To develop a gratitude practice we must first recognise what we’re grateful for, acknowledge it and appreciate it. Take time to notice good things, seek them out and enjoy them. Savour and absorb those good things before finally expressing your gratitude, either to yourself by writing it down or by thanking someone else.

3 Ways to Practice Gratitude

  1. Make a conscious effort to start noticing the world around you from a point of gratitude. You’ll soon realise how many good things we take for granted.
  2. Try transforming negative observations into positive ones. For example, instead of focusing on a long, tiring day at your desk, try to enjoy the beautiful view from your office window.
  3. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down one or more things you feel grateful for every day. If you’re not sure where to start, read our post about how to journal.

Have you considered using a gratitude practice to improve your wellbeing?

Love the SOL team x

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