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Published on November 16, 2021

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How "Giving Thanks" Can Benefit You as Well as Others

What does gratitude mean to you? As we approach the end of another year, one that has been unlike any other, it is important to reflect back and think of the many things we have to be grateful for.

Expressing gratitude is often thought of as just saying thank you. But if we really stop and practice daily gratitude, our focus can shift from the negative things in our lives.

The benefits of practicing gratitude can spread across all areas of our lives, from physical to psychological to social.

Some of those common benefits include:

  • Less chronic pain
  • Better sleep
  • Higher levels of optimism
  • More alive and awake
  • More outgoing attitude
  • Less loneliness and stress

Those benefits all sound wonderful, but you may not know where to start to achieve them. The good news is that everyone will practice gratitude differently, and there is nothing wrong with that! Practicing gratitude can be done anywhere, at any time of day. Here are some steps to help you make it happen:

Keep a Gratitude Journal

  • Write down the good things that have happened to you recently or things you are thankful for.
  • Pick a few minutes each day/week and jot just a few.

Focus on "Please" and "Thank You" Opportunities

  • Saying those phrases often comes automatic and we do not really give it much thought.
  • When using those words, make eye contact, smile, and do your best to really convey those words.

Make an Effort to Share Gratitude

  • Research has found that expressing gratitude to others has the ability to strengthen your relationships.
  • Do not wait to tell someone you appreciate them!

Meditate and Practice Mindfulness

  • It means many different things to each individual, but find your own way.
  • Use guided meditation videos, there are many free ones online.
  • Pray as often as it fits your day — remember to be grateful in prayer, too.

However you choose to practice gratitude, remember that it takes some time and hopefully you will notice a difference.

By Evan Moore, LiveNOW Well-being Specialist

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