10 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude And Feel Happier With Life
People experience a lot of stress factors in their daily life that can decrease their productivity, energy levels, and mental health. It also negatively impacts one’s physical health. In such scenarios, it becomes imperative to find actionable strategies that can improve one’s low energy levels and low productivity.
What Is Gratitude & Why It Is Essential?
Gratitude is about being thankful for what blessings one has in their life. Therefore, it is very important for improving life satisfaction and quality of life. It not only relaxes the mind but also improves the levels of happiness. Other benefits of gratitude include stronger relationships, improved mental health, and enhanced empathy.
According to research published in NCBI, there is a strong relationship between gratitude and well-being. With in-depth analysis, one can see that well-being isn’t only about mental health but much more.
Gratitude can be developed in several ways. Courses offered by Sureself are guaranteed to help anyone achieve their personal development goals.
1. Keeping A Gratitude Diary
Multiple types of research have supported the benefits of journal keeping such as helping in goal achieving, easily tracking progress and growth, and acquiring personal confidence. Moreover, one can gain inspiration, and tackle stress and anxiety by acknowledging their feelings.
2. Using The Positive Vocabulary
Using more positive vocabulary has multiple benefits for mental and emotional health. Words like peace and love even have the power to impact genes and the prefrontal cortex in a positive aspect. As a result, one develops strong resiliency against unpleasant emotions.
An experiment was conducted by scientists on the quality of water crystals. They used two samples of water and treated them with different quality words. One sample was exposed to positive words whereas the other one was spoken to negative words. After some time, the sample of water that was treated harshly produced poor quality crystals. However, the sample of water that was treated with kindness and positive words yielded clear and beautiful crystals. If this is the impact of positive and negative words on water, imagine what it would be on humans? Thus, it proves that positive words indeed produce a significant impact on the emotional well-being of a person’s life.
3. Remembering The Mentors
Remembering the mentors in one’s life shows gratitude and conveys feelings of admiration towards the other person. The givers can be anyone e.g. teachers, family members, and the elderly. It is important to keep in mind that givers have a sense of generativity. It means that they want to give to others and invest in their growth. Hence, they deserve to be remembered in positive words.
4. Saying Thank You to Others
Writing thank-you notes conveys positive feelings to the sender and surely fills their day positivity. The benefits of gratitude notes include strengthening relationships and dealing effectively with guilt. These kinds of letters are a great way to thank a person who was not thanked properly in the past. One can send gratitude notes to their professors, and neighbors.
5. Returning The Kindness
One way to show gratitude that is different from gratitude lists, and thank-you letters are practicing the same behavior that benefited the person. If receiving guidance or emotional support was empowering to an individual, they should practice these behaviors with others. Hence, returning kindness in those ways can help cultivate gratitude deeply in one’s life.
6. Pausing And Observing
Noticing the beautiful things in nature e.g. flowers, rainbows, green grass requires one to pause and observe them. The activity takes a few moments from one’s time but leaves a positive and relaxing impact on psychological health. According to the research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, a surrounding that does not have natural elements like plants, trees, and flowers impacts health negatively. Whereas an environment filled with reminders of nature influences mental and physical health in positive ways. Therefore, those individuals who take a few moments and spend some time in nature can enhance their well-being.
It is obvious that any meditation practice results in gratitude development. In other words, meditation and gratitude go hand in hand. As mentioned above, gratitude is about noticing positives in one’s life. Similarly, meditation exercises encourage one to pay attention to their thoughts and feelings without critical judgment. With repeated practice, it creates a kind and compassionate view toward life and others. There are meditation practices that specifically aim toward developing gratitude in life. They are simply known as gratitude meditation.
In addition to this, research published in Nature showed a positive association between functional connectivity and heart rate. It means that the heart rate improved by the gratitude meditation intervention and left the participants feeling relaxed. Hence, meditation practices have great potential to improve the emotional health of people.
8. Practicing Self-Care
Self-care and gratitude have a deep connection with each other. Self-care is about taking care of one’s mental, physical, and emotional capacities. If somebody takes small breaks after working for an hour or half-hour, this shows their attempt at self-management or self-care. Other examples can be eating healthy, taking relaxing baths, and staying hydrated.
9. Praying Regularly
Praying means that an individual is making effort to connect to a higher power. It is one way of showing gratitude to a higher power for everything blessed to a person.
Some people might have this question: What are the differences between meditation and praying?
- Praying requires faith whereas meditation does not
- Praying is an outward expression whereas meditation happens inward
Praying has many benefits for a believer such as:
- Providing a clear direction in life
- Developing control over temptations
- Improving one’s mindset
- Promoting optimism and hope
- Boosting the healing process
Volunteering means giving back to the community in different ways e.g. skills, and time. It means that individuals work in an organization and add value by spending their time or using their skillset. It not only increases personal levels of happiness but also builds meaningful connections with others. If someone has a good grasp of some skill and they volunteer to teach it, they are saying thank you to all those who helped them master the skill. Hence, volunteering is a brilliant way to cultivate gratitude in life.
All in all, gratitude is one of the best ways to improve one’s life satisfaction. Some believe that gratitude is the core value that influences all aspects of one’s life. It is no surprise because of the numerous benefits of the habit of gratitude. For example, it improves mental health, enhances physical health, and boosts the quality of sleep. Furthermore, gratitude boosts personal confidence and strengthens relationships. Hence, an individual can increase their happiness in life by cultivating gratitude through the above-mentioned ways.