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What Is Gratitude? 

What does gratitude mean, exactly? Simply put, gratitude is the positive feeling  you get for being thankful for something or someone. But the act of practicing  gratitude is so much more than that. Gratitude can be an impactful emotional training tool for your body and mind. 

Taking the time throughout your day to pause and be actively grateful for experiences and moments allows you to experience the positive and pleasant  feelings associated with happiness, peace, expansion, and love. It is these same  pleasant emotions that can be a catalyst for positive changes to take place in your  life. 

Science has proven over and over again that being in gratitude creates powerful  physical and mental health benefits, including: 

  • A lower risk of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and some  cancers 

  • A stronger immune system 

  • A better night's sleep with less insomnia 

  • More regulated mood with less depression and anxiety 

  • Higher self-confidence 

Gratitude: The Benefits and How To Practice 

Practicing gratitude has incredible effects, from improving our mental health to boosting our relationships with others. It can be a game-changer with far-reaching effects. Living your life with gratitude helps you notice the little wins - like the way your car starts with a push of a button or the way the sun shines through your window in the morning as you rise. Each of these small moments string together to create a web of well-being that strengthens your ability to notice the good over  time.

Practicing gratitude is simple. It’s the act of noticing, and once you begin to  practice gratitude with these simple tips, you’ll begin to notice your outlook on  life shifting beautifully. 

#1: Slow Down 

Take a mindful pause in your day to notice the good things, big and small. Appreciate how warm the sun feels on your skin, how delicious that first brewed cup of coffee tastes in the morning, or how quiet your house or morning commute becomes once everyone is off to school and you have a moment for yourself with  your thoughts. 

#2: Say Out Loud The Things You Are Grateful For 

Being vocal about the things you are grateful for as they happen in the moment  can be incredibly impactful. Not only will this practice put you in the flow of gratitude, but it also brings attention and light to how many things around you are  blessings that bring you happiness and inner peace. 

#3: Start A Gratitude Journal 

Putting your thoughts on paper, by creating a gratitude journal is a powerful way  to connect the body and the mind. Simply keep a notebook and a pen on your  desk or your bedside table and make writing down 3 to 5 things you were grateful for that day a standard practice in your life. 

Not only will doing this keep you noticing, but it helps the mind to remain sharp by utilizing your memory. 

#4: Spread Gratitude To Others 

Start to make a conscious effort throughout your day to tell the people around you  how grateful you are for them. Whether it’s pausing to thank your partner for loading the dishwasher or calling a friend to tell them you’re grateful for their friendship. Sharing gratitude has an immense effect on not only your life but also  impacts the person's life you’re sharing it with. 

#5: Practicing Gratitude In Meditation 

One of my favorite ways of practicing gratitude is through meditation. The way  our minds think and process information has a direct effect on how we feel. Focusing your mind on gratitude with a meditation practice is one of the easiest  ways to feel more fulfilled and more grateful for the things in your life you are  surrounded by. 

Finding gratitude for even the smallest of things, like a beating heart or the ability  to breathe on your own, helps you live from a new perspective. There are so many ways we take blessings for granted in our daily life and re-training your brain to  recognize gratitude in the most mundane is an art form anyone can master. 

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