It is easy to be bogged down by the stress of day to day life. Work can be overwhelming, family can be demanding, and all in all, you may have limited time to do the things you most enjoy. If you find yourself stuck in this cycle it is up to you to make a change. Next time you feel like complaining about how terrible everything is, try saying something you’re grateful for instead. Being grateful isn’t just a friendly piece of advice, it’s science! Several studies have shown depression to be inversely correlated to gratitude. It seems that the more grateful a person is, the less depressed they are. Philip Watkins, a clinical psychologist at Eastern Washington University, found that clinically depressed individuals showed significantly lower gratitude (nearly 50% less) than non-depressed controls. If you have the weight of the world on your shoulders let’s look at the some gratitude lessons that can help your physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being.
- Spend Time with Loved Ones
Being with your family and friends is good for your overall well-being for many reasons. The people you have let into your life understand you, they make you laugh, they help you unwind, and they love you. Be sure to tell them how important they are to you. Showing that you’re grateful for their friendship or love will make them feel appreciated and will make you feel good too! It’s hard to make it on your own in this world so take the time to realize who has helped you along the way and always show them your gratitude.
- Gratitude Journal
Keep a journal listing 5 things for which you feel grateful. For example, write about a beautiful sunset you saw or a close friend’s generosity. Research has demonstrated that people who do this once a week for 2 months report more optimism and happiness, and fewer physical problems too. Keeping a gratitude journal can reinforce positive thoughts and is nice to look over when you’re having a particularly bad day to remind you of all the good things that have been happening.
- Speak to a HAPPINESS Professional!
There are people out there who are happy for a living! You can work with a happiness coach, gratitude teacher, or life coach to help get some real results. If you are feeling at all skeptical think about it this way; if you need to lose some extra pounds, you wouldn’t be opposed to hiring a personal trainer, right? If you can’t get out of a funk or are looking for guaranteed methods to start feeling better consider working with someone who can give you gratitude lessons and happiness coaching that you can apply to your daily life. It is great to have an unbiased person in your life who is there to work with you as if you were a blank slate and support you throughout the process. If you’re still a bit unsure about speaking to someone look online to see if you can find a gratitude coach podcast to start!
Being a positive, grateful person has unlimited benefits both physically and mentally. You may have many reasons to be stressed or unhappy but, if you start your gratitude lessons today you will change the way you think and you will change the way you live. There is research out there that proves continually expressing thanks can lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle. Try doing this on your own or with a life coach, and be grateful that you have the option to start again!