The Importance of Being Grateful
There is a growing body of research which shows there are many psychological benefits to being grateful, including feeling happier and lowering stress, depression and anxiety, and of course feeling good about helping others feel good too!
Not only that, there is also scientific evidence that expressing genuine gratitude on a daily basis can improve physical health as well by improving quality of sleep, cardiovascular (heart) health and immune function. A spirit of gratitude and appreciation is an essential skill for everyone – young and old – to foster and develop.
Gratitude promotes optimism and helps us develop a more positive outlook. It lets us pause for a moment to reflect on something we have in our life right now instead of always striving for more. In fact, most of us actually have far more material “things” than we really need.
We encourage you to give the following exercises a try for 30 days and see what effect it has on your own life:
- Write down three things each day for which you are thankful. These should be specific, not general.
- Write down one thing each day you could do to improve your life.
- Once per week for 10 minutes write about your ideal life in detail. Write as if it is already happening and real, not just wishful or hopeful. Pick it up next week or write on another aspect of your ideal life.
The key with the first exercise is to express genuine gratitude and appreciation for specific things you already have in your life and not to think like a victim who ‘deserves’ more or who wishes they had more of something. And the positive effect is multiplied when you share the gratitude with others – especially family – but also friends, colleagues, clients and others!