Therapy Education

The Healing Power of Gratitude

Atlantic Net

August 29, 2023 - 10:20 AM

What if I told you that I had a magic pill to make you happier? How much would you pay? $100? What if I told you it would increase your psychological well being, improve your mood, decrease your anxiety and depression, and contribute positively to your physical state as well? Are you digging through your couch cushions now, trying to scrape up every last nickel and dime to get your hands on this wonder drug?…And now what if I told you it’s free!?! That’s not a typo. I said Free! Zip! Zilch! Zero!!!

In the United States, Thanksgiving is observed on the fourth Thursday in November. It is a day in which we give thanks for our many blessings, and gratitude for everyone and everything that has contributed to those blessings. But what if you were able to see the many positive benefits that the power of gratitude could bring on more than just the fourth Thursday of November? What if you could see those benefits on a monthly basis? or a weekly basis? or even…wait for it…a daily basis? The healing power of gratitude asks very little of you, but the returns are numerous. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can add gratitude into your daily life.

Tips on Adding Gratitude into your Daily Life

like taking a class called gratitude 101, you must learn about what you are grateful for

  1.  Acknowledge important people in your life – Let’s be honest, life isn’t always puppies and rainbows. You’re going to have some rough patches…some trials and tribulations. That’s normal. But in most cases, the people around you (namely, your family and friends) are going to be there to support you and lift you up. The circle of people in your “pack,” or ´”tribe,” or  “squad,” or whatever it is the kids are calling it these days, are the people that know you best and the people you share a bond with. Let them know. Tell them how important they are. Tell them you love them. Do something nice for them.  The healing power of sharing your gratitude with them will only make your bond stronger.
  2. Stop and smell the roses – Cliche, I know, but life can be a crazy, hectic rat race at times. The time between waking up and going back to sleep is filled with sending emails to the boss, taking the kids to soccer practice, grabbing milk at the store, and picking up the dry cleaning. By the end of the day you pray you can fall asleep all so you can get up and do the same thing tomorrow. Try to take some time, or even a few moments of time, and be grateful for the small things that make life great. The smell of fresh cut grass. The birds chirping as you wake up in the morning. That one coworker that really gets on your nerves called in sick today. Be thankful for those small, wonderful things life offers.
  3. Be grateful for everything that you have – We spend a lot of time wanting, wishing, hoping and complaining. But how often do we think “Wow, I slept in a bed last night. In a house! And I’m going to be able to eat today. And drink water!” These are basic necessities that we often take for granted, but life sure would be a lot harder without them. To delve a little deeper, were you able to walk to the kitchen? Could you see the sun’s rays slip in though your curtains and hear the cars passing by on your street? Were you able to get ready for work without someone else assisting you? Be grateful for a body that is healthy and allows you to experience life with all your senses.
  4. Remember your past – All of us, even those who look back on their past fondly, are sure to have times that they wish they could use that mind eraser gadget from Men in Black to forget. But, if you’re here right now, reading this, your past was extremely important in shaping the person you are today. Be grateful for where you came from and every challenge and obstacle life threw at you, because from those you were able to learn, and grow, and hopefully become a better person.

shower in everything good in your life and embrace it with gratitude

Healing Powers of Gratitude

Now that you have some ideas on how you can be grateful and show gratitude in your everyday life, let’s talk about the healing powers of gratitude. No matter who you are or where you come from, gratitude has been proven to be universally rewarding when it comes to feeling happier and more fulfilled. It can be as easy as a smile, or a simple thank you, but the positive effects on your mental and physical self are numerous. Here are some effects of gratitude:

  • Makes you feel happier
  • Improves your self esteem
  • Provides a more optimistic and positive outlook
  • Helps you sleep better at night
  • Allows you to be more present
  • Improves your relationships with others
  • Helps you achieve success at school or work
  • Helps reduce your focus on aches and pains

All of these benefits provided by the healing power of gratitude and it costs you nothing except a little more awareness and mindfulness as you go about your every day life. Seems like a good deal to me. Go ahead and give it a try. Afterall…it is free!

Beautiful beach landscape with the tide rolling in on the sand with the words "be grateful everyday"


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