It’s all about the attitude of gratitude nowadays… and for good reasons. It’s been scientifically shown that practicing gratitude can have a huge impact on your wellbeing.
Be it something simple like saying “thank you” or making a grand gesture like buying a gift, the practice of gratitude can level up so many aspects of your life — from revitalizing your physical health to improving your intimate relationships.
Scientists have begun to explore just how important the practice of gratitude is. The results might surprise you.
What Science Says About Gratitude
We’re often quick to dismiss the importance of saying thank you to colleagues, family members, and those we meet in our day-to-day lives, but learning to practice gratitude on a daily basis can yield incredible results, both physically and mentally.
Those who practice gratitude on a regular basis experience:
- Stronger immune system
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased optimism
- Increased generosity
- Increased compassion and empathy
Scientists are also trying to understand the circumstances in which gratitude flourishes and diminishes. There are likely times in your own life in which you practiced gratitude more or less frequently. The question is — how can we turn gratitude into a habit?
How To Turn Gratitude Into A Habit
Created on the premise of sharing, caring, and being thankful for what we have, Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. Family time, comfort food, crisp fall weather, and pumpkin pies. What’s not to love, right?
However, we have to admit there are times we’re not feeling gratitude. From driving in heavy traffic to long lines at the grocery store to cleaning the house before company arrives — it can all start to add up and tax our reserves. The endless to-do list seems daunting, and in times like this, it can be easy to forget what the season is all about.
Our modern lives are often like this. We’re just too busy to stop and enjoy the moment. We focus on what isn’t going right that we don’t see all that is going right.
We need help learning to practice gratitude as a habit, rather than experience it as an occasional, random act.
For me, yoga has been the key to having a regular practice of gratitude. How can yoga help us practice gratitude more often? Here are 5 ways yoga can encourage gratitude.
5 Ways To Practice Gratitude With Yoga
- Staying in the present moment. Yoga helps us to develop this habit. When we are focused in the present moment we can see the positive side of life more easily and feel the gratitude.
- Stimulating the part of our brain that helps us to feel more connected with others. It becomes easier to express our gratitude to others when we feel better connected.
- Yoga takes us inward. We can take the time to think about all that we have to be grateful for, even during times of great stress.
- When our emotions start to get the best of us, yoga helps us to calm down, get centered and see the blessings in our life for which we can express gratitude.
- With a regular yoga practice we are less stressed by life’s ups and downs. We take time to breathe, be mindful, and appreciate the small moments.
The great thing about yoga is that you can practice it by yourself, or with others. Finding a community of like-minded people to encourage you toward keeping a regular practice may be one of the most beneficial ways to develop a habit of practicing gratitude.
Now that you know how important practicing gratitude can be, try these tips to get your gratitude glow on!
- Instead of impatience in the grocery store lines, look at your grocery basket and be grateful for everything in it.
- Instead of grumbling in the kitchen as you try to prepare a meal, be grateful for the food, family, and friends that are present to eat with you.
- Instead of being irked by well-meaning family members or friends, love them for who they are with all of their faults and quirks.
- Instead of fretting about the weather, be grateful you’re able to experience the wide spectrum Mother Nature has to offer.