What are the Benefits of Gratitude?

How is almost November already? I feel like this year has flown by and I am not sure how we’re already heading into the holiday season. The month of November and Thanksgiving is the start of that time of year where so many people start to reflect on what they are thankful for in their life.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s a day we set aside to eat delicious food and spend time with family. In our family, we spend the day traveling, eating and reflecting on why we’re thankful. But for many, Thanksgiving and the holiday season can be a challenging time of the year. It’s a time when we think about loved ones that have gone before us. It can also be difficult if your family argues every time you get together. I can also be extremely challenging if you’re in the middle of a difficult season in your life. No matter where you’re at, you’re reading this blog post because you want to learn more about the benefits of being grateful … and let me tell you, there are many.

Image Credit: PatLive Blog Post – 37 of the Best Ever Quotes on Gratitude

The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude & Positive Thinking are Endless

People who practice gratitude tend to have a more positive outlook on life and experience the following:

  1. Improvement in mental health and strength
  2. Improve physical health
  3. Create new friendships
  4. Improve existing friendships
  5. Enhances Empathy
  6. Less Aggression
  7. Better Sleep
  8. See an Improvement in Self-Esteem
  9. Outlook on life is more positive and optimistic
  10. Become Less Self-Centered because gratitude take the focus off ourselves

In addition to the benefits above, those who practice gratitude typically cope better with stress, bounce back from illness and have lower blood pressure. Practicing gratitude can truly impact your life in so many ways – you will find that you experience more joy, love, and enthusiasm towards life and your circumstances. Having a positive outlook on life also reduces the lifetime risk of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Over time, this practice can help you believe that goodness still exists, in during times of uncertainty.

When I think about having a grateful heart, I can’t help but think about the proverbs in a song I learned in so many years ago in Sunday school:

“A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22

Why Can it Be Difficult to Practice Gratitude?

Wow, as I am writing this post and reading through the points again, I’m amazed at the health benefits of gratitude. This list inspires me to want to be more grateful in my life.

So the question then becomes – why aren’t we establishing a gratitude practice in our lives every day? (Especially now that we know of the benefits) Well for starters, we all go through difficult seasons in our lives. And although gratitude should be at the forefront during our suffering, it can tend to take a backseat. It’s human nature to complain and look for the negative. Creating a mindful habit of positivity takes time, practice and effort. One of the best ways I have found to make gratitude a daily practice is to establish a gratitude practice.

I am also going to take the month of November to practice gratitude and have outlined what I will be doing each week in this blog post. For this challenge, I created free printables for each week! That way I can carry them with me and have a daily reminder for my gratitude challenge. I hope you come alongside me on this challenge. If you’re reading this after November – I challenge you to start now. Why wait another day? Start today and begin your journey to a more grateful and joyful life.

What are the Benefits of Gratitude?

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