When I first started working with a Life Coach over a decade ago, one of the first tools she taught me was to establish a gratitude practice. She recommended this for several reasons. Expressing gratitude can have many physical and mental health benefits:
- better sleep
- stronger relationships with partners, family, and friends
- increased patience, especially with our children (this mama needs all the help I can get here)
More specifically, there has been success in helping people improve their mental health through a gratitude practice and even heal from trauma and illness. People who are grateful have been found to be more skillful at coping with stress and regulating emotions (sign me up!!)
I totally get that doing a gratitude practice regularly can be tricky. I struggle with this myself. A few things that have helped me to build this in to daily life as much as I can:
- I have a journal that I will use 2-3 times a week to do some morning writing and I always start with at least 3 things I am grateful for. This helps me shift into a positive mindset and really set positive intentions for whatever it is I feel compelled to focus on;
- I created a game with my kiddos where we roll dice just before bed and have to say we are grateful for as many things as the number on the dice. This has been a nice way to get some appreciating things more, or thinking about someone in our life who may need some extra energetic love that we can send their way.
This may all seem simple. Because it is. It’s the consistency that can be a challenge but the results can be massive, so it’s so worth figuring out a practice that works for you. I’m all in on this concept. Cheers to being more grateful.