Discover simple, effective gratitude exercises that can improve your mood, reduce stress, and make your life more joyful!
Do you find yourself struggling with stress, and anxiety? Does it feel like it’s getting harder to focus on the good things in life? You’re not alone. According to the World Health Organization, around 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression, and 284 million suffer from anxiety disorders. With mental health issues on the rise, it’s crucial to take a moment and prioritize self-care.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we want to share with you the life-changing power of practicing gratitude. Gratitude has been scientifically proven to improve mental health, increase happiness, and enhance overall well-being. Plus, we’ve got some simple and effective gratitude exercises that you can start incorporating into your daily routine today, even if you’re super busy!
Why Practice Gratitude?
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and appreciative for the positive things in our lives. Research has shown that practicing gratitude can have profound effects on mental health and well-being. Here are some mind-blowing statistics:
- A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude is linked to higher levels of happiness, life satisfaction, and positive emotions.
- According to a study in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, practicing gratitude can help lower stress levels and improve sleep quality.
- Another study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology discovered that gratitude can increase resilience, helping people bounce back from adversity more quickly.
Simple Gratitude Exercises You Can Try Today
The Five Things Exercise
This exercise is perfect for busy people, as it can be done on the go and takes just a few minutes. Here’s how it works:
- Pause and take a deep breath.
- Think of five things you’re grateful for. They can be big or small, like a delicious meal, a friend’s kindness, or a beautiful sunset. In fact, it makes it even more fun to find obscure or very small things that you are grateful for…like finding a tiny spoon in the spoon drawer, or a stack of fresh fluffy towels.
- Say them out loud or write them down.
Rebekah Wilbur, Content and Design Coordinator at Give an Hour, shared how she uses this exercise with her children:
The Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is another effective way to practice gratitude. Every day, write down three things you’re grateful for. This simple act can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and create a lasting habit of gratitude.
A Give an Hour staffer shared the importance of practicing gratitude:
“We use the practice of gratitude and journaling as part of our well-being trainings – taking a few minutes to really think about what we are grateful for in our lives can bring a sense of calm and peace and reframe our thoughts. Like all things, practicing gratitude takes just that – practice! For something to become a healthy habit, we need to repeat the exercise many times.”
Make Gratitude a Habit
The benefits of practicing gratitude are clear, but it’s essential to make it a regular part of your life. Start with one of the exercises above and try to incorporate it into your daily routine. Over time, you’ll notice a shift in your mindset, and your mental health will thank you!
For more free resources on self-care and mental well-being, check out our resources.
This Mental Health Awareness Month, take the first step toward a resilient you!