Do you practice gratitude daily? I think a lot of us would say, yes of course I’m grateful for all the things I have! But do you actually practice gratitude?! Genuinely being grateful for every thing in your life takes practice. I’ve been practicing gratitude pretty consistently for almost a year and it has made such a world of difference in my stress levels and in my overall attitude. I can’t tell you how great it’s been for my mental health! Here’s my story of how gratitude reduces stress in my life…
How Gratitude Reduces Stress
How I Practice Gratitude
Around this time last year I got a gratitude journal and tried to get really good at writing in it every morning. I’m not a morning person, so finding a good morning routine has really helped me start to become a better person in the mornings. My gratitude practice has been a huge part in that. As anything goes, I’ve had times when I’ve been super consistent with my gratitude journaling and other times where it has really fallen off. And as with any other thing that’s good for you (ahem working out), you really notice a difference when you’re on and when you’re off!
The past few weeks have been pretty crazy and I just haven’t “had time” to do my morning routine. (aka I haven’t made it a priority over the past few weeks!) This week I got back on track and noticed a HUGE difference in my day. Instead of being frustrated about how behind I was, I was excited to tackle my to-do list and felt accomplished with every thing I did. Instead of feeling overwhelmed I was happy and excited for all the things I’m getting to work on and do!
How Gratitude Reduces Stress
As I noticed my change in attitude today I was like wow! That gratitude thing really works! ha! It’s taken me a while to get here, but as I wrote in my journal this morning I wrote down all the things that were weighing on me and said why I was grateful for them. With every thing that brings stress into your life, there is usually something to be grateful for in them. Have bills to pay? Be grateful you have a house and car and electricity! Have too much work to do? Be grateful you have a job and something to work on!
The more I’ve journaled the more I’ve realized how to be grateful for the little things. It’s easy to say I’m grateful for my husband, for my parents, for my kid. But it’s another thing to be grateful for everything. My basement flooded this weekend. I’m grateful for my basement, I’m grateful for my house, I’m grateful that the flood forced us to clean out the basement, get rid of things and get organized! Did I want the basement to flood? No. But am I grateful for the inconvenience of the flood and the outcome, yes. I’m grateful.
Gratitude really does change everything. It can change your mindset, it can change your day & it can change your life! Now, who’s starting that gratitude practice today?!
Do you have any extra thoughts on how gratitude reduces stress? Let me know in a comment below!