Woman filling gratitude journal

Understanding the Power of Gratitude

Gratitude is an undervalued trait in the modern world. As societies grow in wealth and ability, people often forget gratitude’s positive impact on life. Gratitude played a significant part in our ancestors’ lives, though they may not have fully understood its impact. Today, gratitude still plays a major role in our lives.

Psychologists and sociologists began studying the power of gratitude in the 1950s, and we know now that it is essential to helping our patients live their best lives. As we learn more about it, we see more and more the positive effect that an attitude of gratitude has on someone’s mental health.

Defining Gratitude

Gratitude isn’t about avoiding the negative things in your life. It’s about being grateful for what you currently have, despite other concerns you may be facing. Genuine appreciation is understanding something beneficial is present and it helps us see a silver lining. 

An attitude of gratitude helps us appreciate the people in our lives who are supportive. It helps us find things to be grateful for, even when we feel like everything is in the dumps. Gratitude may also be gaining a broader appreciation for life that you didn’t have before. 

Benefits of Gratitude

You might be unaware of all the health benefits gratitude may bring. However, research suggests that gratitude may have the following benefits:

  • Less anxiety: When you stop constantly worrying, you may learn to live in the moment more. Understanding that living in the moment is okay may help you find more things to be optimistic about and help you release some of the negative stressors in your life. 
  • Improved sleep: Lowered anxiety may help the quality of your sleep. Improved sleep may, in turn, help lower your stress levels. Once you start accruing benefits, it’s hard to stop.
  • Improved relationships: Once you start being grateful to people, you value their time, and they value yours. When you start spending more time together or enhance the quality of your time together, your relationships deepen.
  • Higher self-esteem: Learning to value yourself and others will also give you more confidence. It will also help you boost your self-esteem. Higher self-esteem and confidence can also improve your relationship with yourself and others.
  • Less physical pain: Doctors and psychologists understand that a link exists between joint pain, anxiety, and depression. Lowered anxiety and stress will make getting out of bed easier in the morning. You’ll also be less prone to pain throughout the day.

Practicing Gratitude

Creating gratitude in your life isn’t hard for you to accomplish but it takes practice and time. Gratitude is a mindset that you develop over time.  

There are specific small actions you can take throughout your day to help you have more gratitude in your life. It may not be a quick change, but performing these actions daily may put you on track to introducing the power of gratitude in your life. 

Live in the Moment

The hardest thing for people to do sometimes is to live in the moment. At work, the focus is on the end of the day. At home, everyone stresses about what they have to do at work.

You don’t have to enjoy every task you do in life, but find things about them you appreciate in that instant. Take a moment to look around you: your surroundings, the people you’re with, the location of your office, your home, or the job site, and note things you appreciate.

Do you enjoy working with your coworkers? Is this the first time in a long time you’ve spent quality time with your family? Are you home alone for the first time in weeks? Pay attention to the little things and big things and try to find some good.

Start a Journal

A gratitude journal is a great way to start the day. Write down things you are grateful for every day. This practice will help promote a positive attitude throughout the rest of your day. You may also write down some things you would like to accomplish, whether long-term or short-term – You may begin to notice feats you’ve accomplished or problems you’ve solved that you might never have realized before.

Be Thankful to Others

When someone does something nice for you, thank them for it. Give that person some positive reinforcement. Spreading joy in the lives of others may help you find more positivity in your life.

Also, you never know what someone else is struggling with. Your positive words could make a tremendous difference in the life of others. All that matters is your willingness to be a positive force for that person.

Unlocking the Power of Gratitude With Dr. Raeburn

Dr. Carolina Raeburn a Florida Licensed Clinical Psychologist, specializing in neuropsychology and helps patients unlock the power of gratitude in their lives. Contact Raeburn Psychology at (786) 788-8506 or fill out the contact form to schedule a session.

*All the information published in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Any information provided here is offered in generic form. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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