Flashback: The Power of Gratitude

Practicing gratitude is an extremely effective tool for coping during a crisis. Regularly expressing thankfulness also helps you ride the peaks and valleys in life.  There are different ways to express feeling blessed. Gratitude journaling will deliver most if not all the benefits.

The dictionary definition of gratitude states: “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Simply put, whether you are having a good day or bad day, you find a few things to appreciate in your life. You can be thankful that you woke up in good health when others may be struggling. You can be thankful for having food in the refrigerator when others do without. You can be grateful for having access to family through technology when others live in a drop zone.

Journaling every day is a great habit to start. Expressing gratitude through writing has a wealth of benefits. For example, you may experience the following:

  1. Boost your long-term well-being, encouraging exercise, reducing physical pain and symptoms, and increasing both length and quality of sleep 
  2. Increase your optimism and, indirectly, your happiness and health 
  3. Make you friendlier, more open, and expand your social support network
  4. Help you make progress toward your goals

Gratitude journaling requires little resources. There are free mobile apps where you can log your daily appreciation. Every day pick three things you are grateful for – no matter how large or small. Express what you are grateful for and the “because.” Adding the why is important and sparks your “feel good” brain center.

NEXT STEPS:  Write a thank you note to someone who did you favor, no matter how large or small.

Expressing thankfulness helps you ride the peaks and valleys in life.

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