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The Importance of Expressing Gratitude

Gratitude is a rather simple concept; however, it can have a real impact on your mental health and overall outlook on life. As we enter the holiday season, gratitude becomes a bigger topic of conversation but it’s a great practice to try and implement in your daily life year-round. 

Benefits of Expressing Gratitude

  • Gratitude can help your physical health. People who practice expressing gratitude actually reported feeling fewer aches and pains and felt an overall increase in their general wellbeing. 
  • Gratitude can help with your mental health. Taking moments to recall things you are grateful for and even expressing that towards others can do wonders for your psychological well-being. If you find yourself slipping into periods of feeling down, try writing down three items you’re grateful for each day and see what a change it can make. 
  • Gratitude can improve your sleep. Expressing gratitude has been shown to provide a greater sense of calm and peace. In fact, focusing on gratitude prior to bed can help you fall asleep faster and sleep sounder. 

Ways to Express Gratitude 

  • Write a letter of gratitude. Take some time out of your day to acknowledge someone who you’re grateful for. Maybe it’s a friend or a family member. Or maybe it’s a friendly employee from a business you visited. Regardless, write them a letter letting them know you are grateful. A small thank you can go a long way!
  • Say it. As simple as it may seem, we often don’t verbalize our gratitude to people. Pick up the phone and let someone know that you appreciate them. Or better yet, say it in the moment. 
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Keep a small journal at your bedside table. Every night prior to falling asleep write a list of three things you are grateful for that day. You’ll sleep sounder having expressed gratitude and it’s a good way to build a routine of practicing being grateful. 
  • Give a gift. Gift-giving to show your gratitude doesn’t have to be expensive or laborious. Frame a picture of you and the person you’re grateful for. If they’re interested in gardening, pick them up a plant or a pack of seeds for their garden. If they’re a reader, give them a copy of your favorite book. Small acts of kindness can be a very effective way of expressing gratitude.

With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to begin practicing being more grateful. Start now and carry it through to the post-holiday season and beyond!