Boost your mood with gratitude! Gratitude is a powerful emotion that has been shown to have numerous benefits for your mental health and social relationships. When you practice gratitude regularly, you can improve your mood, boost your self-esteem, and deepen your connections with others.
Here are some of the ways that gratitude can benefit your mental health and social relationships:
- Increases Positive Emotions: Gratitude can boost positive emotions, such as joy, contentment, and happiness. When you focus on the things that you are grateful for, you’re more likely to multiply these positive emotions.
- Reduces Negative Emotions: Gratitude can help to reduce negative emotions, such as envy, resentment, and frustration. When you focus on the things that you are grateful for, you’re less likely to dwell on negative emotions. Focusing on things you’re grateful for does not mean you will necessarily bypass your negative emotions. You should still aim to honor, acknowledge, and feel negative feelings that come up – but notice how much different it feels when you refrain from lingering on these negative feelings in an unhealthy way.
- Improves Resilience: Gratitude can improve your resilience, which is your ability to bounce back from difficult situations. When you focus on the things that you are grateful for, you’re more likely to see the positive aspects of challenging situations.
- Boosts Self-Esteem: Gratitude can boost your self-esteem by helping you to focus on your strengths and accomplishments. When you focus on your strengths instead of your shortcomings, you’re more likely to feel confident and capable.
- Enhances Social Relationships: Gratitude can enhance your social relationships by helping you to connect with others and build stronger bonds. When you express gratitude to others, you’re encouraging and affirming them in meaningful ways. We all need a little encouragement now and again!
Now that you understand the benefits of gratitude, here are 10 ways to incorporate gratitude into your everyday life:
- Keep a Gratitude Journal: Take a few minutes each day to write down three things that you are grateful for.
- Say Thank You: Express your gratitude to others by saying “thank you” when they do something kind for you. This can help to strengthen your social relationships and make others feel appreciated.
- Practice Mindfulness: Pay attention to the present moment and focus on the things that you are grateful for. This practice will pull you out of anxiety and will allow you to tune in to the here-and-now.
- Volunteer: Give back to your community by volunteering your time or resources. This can help you cultivate a sense of purpose.
- Keep a Gratitude Jar: Write down things that you are grateful for on small pieces of paper and put them in a jar. When you’re feeling down, you can read through the notes to remind yourself of the good things in your life.
- Send a Thank You Note: Write a note to someone who has made a positive impact on your life. Again, this practice will strengthen your social relationships and make the people in your life feel appreciated.
- Practice Positive Self-Talk: Focus on your strengths and accomplishments, and avoid negative self-talk. Even though sometimes it feels like a challenge, try to cultivate either neutral or positive self-talk, it will ultimately boost your self-esteem and cultivate a more positive mindset.
- Focus on the Present Moment: Avoid dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Instead, focus on the present moment and appreciate the good things that are right in front of you.
- Practice Gratitude Meditation: Take a few minutes each day to meditate on the things that you are grateful for.
- Use Positive Affirmations: Repeat positive affirmations to yourself, such as “I am grateful for all of the blessings in my life.”
By incorporating gratitude into your everyday life, you can cultivate a sense of appreciation and positivity that can improve your well-being and strengthen your connections with those around you.
Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2010). Gratitude and well being: the benefits of appreciation. Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), 7(11), 18–22.