Last week, I touched on the topic of gratitude and since I knew I'd be spending my birthday week counting my blessings, I figured I would share a little bit about the practice of gratitude and why I think it can work for anyone if they just commit to even ONE act of gratitude, every single day.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Picture it. Brooklyn. 2010. I was lying in bed, perusing the Apple app store (a guilty pleasure I still can't quit), and discovered an app called Gratitude Journal. The app claimed Oprah did it, so you know my first thought was "WELL IF IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR OPRAH..."
The theory was, if you wrote down 5 things you were grateful for everyday, you would see amazing changes in your life in as little as 21 days. I'm a self-proclaimed sucker for self-help and the app was free at the time, so I figured why not!
So for 21 days, I checked in with the app, chronicled everything I noticed - from my train going express on my morning commute to the Starbucks barista preparing the coffee exactly to my liking. At first, it seemed silly, but I stuck with it and I can personally attest that after those first 3 weeks, I actually felt better and had far less stress than when I'd started and I've been hooked ever since.
WHY IS GRATITUDE IMPORTANT?
In these especially trying times, gratitude reminds us that we are all connected to each other and the world around us. With all the negativity in the world, (let's face it, it's literally everywhere right now) I truly believe that there is always some good somewhere... it's on us to find it.
THE BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE
Google "Benefits of Gratitude" and you will find tons of studies that have proven how gratitude not only makes us happier and improves our relationships and some studies have even shown that gratitude can make us healthier. One study in positive psychology found that a one-time act of thoughtful gratitude produced an immediate 10% increase in happiness and 35% reduction in depressive symptoms!
5 EASY WAYS TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE
1. Start and end your day with gratitude.
Every day you wake up and get out of bed, say
"Thank. You." as each foot hits the floor. This simple act of gratitude can really help set the tone for your day. You can do the same thing as you swing your feet into bed every night. Think of it as a quick prayer of thanks, or a reminder of what went right that day.
2. Keep a daily gratitude journal.
Start your day with gratitude. Keep a journal by your bedside or you can download free apps galore, like Day One or Gratitude. Every morning, jot down a few things you’re grateful for and be super specific! Try this for 21 days and tell me if you too think that Oprah is magic.😉
3. Accept each day as a gift.
Remind yourself that each day is a gift and an opportunity to do something kind for someone, to improve yourself, or to make a positive impact.
4. Pay someone a compliment!
If you've ever been complimented, you know good the rush of our happy hormone serotonin can make you feel - this is the same hormone that is released by your stomach after you eat Ohhts... just sayin! Putting a smile on someone else's face with a genuine compliment goes a really long way and you'd be surprised how good that connection makes you feel too... so go ahead and give it a try!
5. Keep at it—it gets easier
Know that practicing gratitude may not feel all that natural—it may even feel a little forced. FINISH
A WORD OF GRATITUDE FROM ONE OF OUR CUSTOMERS