Can you believe it is August already? This summer is flying by and at the end of the month my boys will go back to school. My oldest is going into first grade and Mr. Middle is entering Kindergarten! Between that and my husband now working 7 days per week, this month is going to be BUSY. For this reason, I needed a joyful habit that was simple, does not take a lot of time and makes a big impact on my happiness. The habit I decided on is developing a gratitude practice.
There are many different ways to practice gratitude.For my practice, I will be focusing on one thing per day and writing 3 reasons I am grateful for it. As an example, today I decided to focus on my husband and came up with these three reasons reasons to be grateful for him:
- Willing to work hard to support his family
- Can fix just about anything that needs fixing
- Makes me laugh
To be honest, I always thought this practice was kind of cheesy, which is why I have not done it until now. However, after doing some research, I have found that this small habit has some really big benefits. I think after reading about them that you will agree.
Developing A Gratitude Practice Reduces Stress And Negativity
You may have heard of the negativity bias. This is something that we all have. Basically it means that we give bad experiences far more psychological weight than good ones. When we were cave men, it was an important survival mechanism, but today it is not quite as useful. Making gratitude a habit rewires your brain to seek out positivity. The more good things you see in your life, the happier you will be.
Improves Overall Physical Health
Research has shown that those who practice gratitude have lower blood pressure, fewer aches and pains, improved immunity, and even a healthier heart. When you think about all the physical damage chronic stress can have on your body, it makes sense that eliminating stress would lead to improved health.
Improve Your Marriage
Developing a gratitude practice will help you focus on the positive aspects of your partner. It will help you feel more satisfied in your relationship and connected.
Improves Sleep Quality And Duration
Have you ever been up for hours because your brain just won’t stop stressing over your job, the kids, or your to-do list? Practicing gratitude will replace your stress with positive, happy thoughts that will allow you to drift off more easily and stay asleep longer.
So as you can see this tiny habit packs a big punch. At first glance, it may seem a little cheesy, but it is so simple that you may as well give it a shot.
Have you ever intentionally practiced gratitude? I would love to hear your experience. If this is a new habit for you, I would love to know how you plan to start!
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