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Finding Gratitude in 2023

By October 23, 2023March 14th, 2024No Comments

Finding gratitude can be difficult at times. However, finding ways to incorporate gratitude into your life will be worth the effort.

In recent years, we have all faced unprecedented challenges and uncertainties, which makes it even more important to focus on the positive aspects of life and reduce stress through practicing gratitude. Personally, I have found that looking for the silver lining amidst the chaos has been incredibly helpful.

Expressing gratitude, even when everything seems to be falling apart, can feel overwhelming at times. However, it has been proven that expressing gratitude and thankfulness throughout the day can have numerous physical and mental health benefits. For example, it can lower blood pressure, strengthen immunity, promote healthier hearts, and enhance our ability to handle stress. With that in mind, here are a few ways you can start incorporating gratitude into your life:

  • First and foremost, remember the power of “thank you.” These two simple words hold significant meaning and have the ability to improve someone’s mood and brighten their day. While expressions of gratitude may not always be well received, it is important to remember that showing gratitude is always the right thing to do, regardless of the response we receive. Sometimes, doing the right thing is not always easy.
  • Learning to accept a “thank you” is also important. It can be challenging for some people to accept compliments or expressions of gratitude gracefully. Often, we try to downplay the significance of our actions by responding with comments like “it was nothing.” However, it is essential to learn how to accept gratitude with genuine appreciation. Just as you are trying to express gratitude, make it easy for others to do the same by accepting their thanks graciously.
  • Another simple way to practice gratitude is through smiling. When you smile at someone and make eye contact, it has the power to uplift their mood, leading to a reciprocal smile. Moreover, when you smile, your brain releases neuropeptides, which help decrease stress. Additionally, neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins are also released, boosting your mood. Smiling can act as a natural antidepressant, while also strengthening your immune system. Who wouldn’t want those benefits?

Remember, generosity and gratitude can be contagious. You can incorporate this in your workplace by spreading kindness and gratitude. Simple acts like smiling at your colleagues or clients can make a significant difference. Take the time to thank your clients for choosing your organization and trusting your team with their time, money, or children. Be specific in your expressions of gratitude, as it adds a personal touch.

If you’re looking for ways to practice gratitude on a more personal level, here are a few suggestions:

  • Start a gratitude journal: Write down at least three things you are thankful for each day. This daily practice has been proven to activate brain areas related to positive emotions and morality. It helps you find purpose and express gratitude for the good things that arise from challenging situations. Reading your own words of gratefulness can also provide comfort during difficult times.
  • Meditate: Take a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day to actively reflect on your gratitude. There are numerous guided and self-guided meditation options available to suit your needs.
  • Find someone to thank every day: Spread your gratitude by acknowledging someone’s positive behavior and its impact on you. Your expression of thanks doesn’t always have to be verbal; a smile or a heartfelt message can also make a difference. Challenge yourself to choose someone new each day to say “Thank you!” to.

Remember, it’s important to start small and be patient and kind to yourself as you embark on this journey of practicing gratitude. By incorporating gratitude into your life, you not only benefit yourself but also brighten someone else’s day. It can become a healthy habit that promotes self-resilience and forgiveness for others and yourself. So, take your time, be kind, and spread the joy!

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(Photo credits: Jcomp, Freepik)

The information contained in this article is not a substitute for legal advice or counsel and has been pulled from multiple sources.

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