Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so let's talk about gratitude! Practicing gratitude has a major impact on your mental health and physical health, according to Harvard. Some of the benefits of gratefulness include feeling happy, improved quality and quantity of sleep, and decreased cortisol levels (cortisol is the stress hormone).
The Actual Thanking Part
You may think that feeling grateful towards things and others in your life is not a conscious choice, but it is. It's a choice you can make every single day to shift your perspective on life. You can choose to look for the things to be grateful for in a tough situation. Once you begin this habit, it will keep building on itself.
The Mindfulness of Gratitude
Gratitude is a practice that should be continued over time, not just a one time thing. Gratitude causes an increase in serotonin levels and in the brain's production of dopamine, which is part of the brain's pleasure center. If you can make gratefulness a habit in your everyday life, your thinking patterns will shift from negative emotions to more positive emotions.
You Can Practice Right Now!
There are various ways you can practice gratitude, (Check out this list for ideas!) But the first step is to challenge yourself to write down just 3 things per day that you are grateful for. It may take you 30 seconds, or it may take a few minutes if you've had a particularly rough day, but it can improve your mental health immensely if incorporated into your daily routine.
Want more ways to be mindful and improve your wellbeing? Check out our Wellbeing Infographic!