Giving, having and thinking gratitude sounds like one of those new agey suggestions like women eating their placenta after birth (yep, that’s a thing) BUT it doesn’t make it any less true. Judge it on it’s own merits, not placenta. Focusing on the the good in your life, or when you’re down, and appreciating the silver lining, can have profound effects on your outlook, stress and overall well-being. Nowadays it’s real easy to get caught up in all the minutiae of everyday living. Your rent payment, your insurance, your nagging mom, your cell phone bill, your credit card bill (!!!), are just a few of the things that take up precious headspace of ours on a daily basis. And that’s fine, that’s normal, that’s life. Unless you fall off the face of the Earth, those things likely are not going to go away. In fact, if you progress along the typical Western life, your life will likely only get more inundated and consumed with more responsibilities and the like. So finding some time each day to time-out and give thanks for what you do have, what is good in your life, what makes your life all warm and fuzzy, will make all those other obligations, burdens, and responsibilities that much easier to meet, address and deal with.

Benefits

Happier Human. Freshen up your disposition and frame of mind. You’ll be happier. Gratitude is strongly correlated with optimism. Optimism > pessimism, always. #HalfFull.

More likeable. Social. Capital. Being overall more gracious will likely lead to you being more trusting, nicer, social, affable and appreciative. This will lead to more thoughtful, caring people in your lives. Positivity creates positivity.  

Up your pscyh game. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic or negative emotions, everything envy to resentment to frustration and regret. As well as lowers your risk for disorders like depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias.

Sleep soundly.  Focusing on the positives instead of the negatives, helps keep our heads clear and less frantic when ours heads down to slumber. A  2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being found that writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep. Journal optional. More than anything it’s about having a conscious practice of gratitude. Writing it down though in one place will help make it a routine. Consistency is King.

Stress Down, mental strength Up. Being cognizant of all you have to be thankful for no matter your current circumstances cultivates resiliency helping us bounce back from stress

Better Physical Health. According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than others. Being gratitude is being conscious and thoughtful and not surprisingly, grateful people are more likely to take care of their health by exercising more often and more likely to attend regular check-ups.

Be happy, be grateful. It’ll make you a more stable, thoughtful and affable person. No one wants to be around someone negative, or who complains constantly. We all have problems and issues, and there are outlets for venting your frustrations (workout anyone?), but minimize the barrage on family and friends. We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have – rather than complain about all the things you think you deserve or want. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.

Controlled and deep breathing is one of the easiest ways to dramatically improve our health that you can anywhere, at any time, inexpensively – aka #free! – and with little effort.  Like anything else, like Nike says, Just Do it.

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