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4 Easy Ways To Unlock Happiness Through Gratitude 

4 Easy Ways To Unlock Happiness Through Gratitude

Table of Contents

Summary

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can affect your mental health for the better. Numerous studies show the benefits of gratitude and how it can be used to improve general well-being. Gratitude interventions can help you to increase your happiness and satisfaction with life. 

What is Gratitude? 

If you think back to someone or something you’re thankful for, you may feel a pleasant sensation. This is gratitude, an emotion that you feel when you acknowledge and appreciate something positive that is happening to you, or something positive that exists currently in your life. You can express gratitude toward yourself, someone else, or your life in general.  

The beautiful thing about gratitude is that it is a free practice that you can use to foster positivity. Gratitude interventions can help you to increase your happiness and satisfaction with life. 

How Gratitude Affects Your Mental Health 

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can affect your mental health for the better. Numerous studies show the benefits of gratitude and how it can be used to improve general well-being (Cunha, et al., 2019; Emmons, et al., 2019; Wood, et al., 2010). Here are a few examples of how it affects your mental health:  

Improve Relationships: Expressing appreciation for people in your life strengthens connections, improves your relationships, and can increase your social support. When you reach out to someone and let them know they’re appreciated, you cultivate warm feelings for that person, and they may, in turn, reciprocate those feelings. 

Foster Positivity: Expressing gratitude can contribute to the development of a more positive outlook on life. By spending time focusing on what you’re thankful for, you invite more optimism into your thoughts, moods, and daily life. 

Improve Relationship with Self: Practicing gratitude toward yourself can increase your self-compassion and self-image. It can be easy to fall into the pattern of negative self-talk, especially because we’re often our own worst critics. By practicing gratitude toward your own traits, you acknowledge the positive aspects of yourself and can begin to flip the script when you hear negative self-talk. 

4 Wellbeing Strategies to Grow Gratitude 

4 Wellbeing Strategies to Grow Gratitude 

#1: Gratitude Journal: Purchase a journal or use one you already have (it can be as fancy or simple as you’d like) and write about something you’re grateful for every day. Do this practice right before you wake up and/or right before you go to sleep. You can start by writing about one thing you’re grateful for in yourself and one person you appreciate. 

2: Write a Thank-You Note: Express your gratitude toward your friends and loved ones in a note, text, or message. Tell them what you appreciate about them and why you’re grateful for them. This will foster positive feelings within yourself as well as within your loved one. We all love to hear that we’re appreciated! 

3: Meditate: Find a quiet place, close your eyes, and picture some things for which you’re grateful. These meditations can be brief, about 5 minutes, or longer if you have the time. Taking a few minutes out of your day to participate in a gratitude meditation can foster that sense of thankfulness. 

4: Carry a Gratitude Reminder: Consider carrying a physical reminder to be grateful. This item can be something you wear like a bracelet, something you carry like a keychain, or even a piece of paper that you put in your pocket with one thing you’re grateful for written on it. Whatever item you pick, make sure it’ll cross your path at least once a day. Once you pick your item, set your intention that this will be your gratitude item. Whenever you see this item, take a moment to think of something for which you feel that you feel grateful. This is a great way to practice gratitude throughout your day. 

Scholarly Sources 

Ackerman, C.E. (2017, April 12). 28 benefits of gratitude and most significant research findings. Positive Psychology. https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-gratitude-research-questions/ 

Cunha, L. F., Pellanda, L. C., & Reppold, C. T. (2019). Positive psychology and gratitude interventions: A randomized clinical trial. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 584. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00584 

Emmons, R. A., Froh, J., & Rose, R. (2019). Gratitude. In M. W. Gallagher & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Positive psychological assessment: A handbook of models and measures (pp. 317–332). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000138-020 

Greenstein, L. (2016, September 23). When looking for happiness, find gratitude. National Alliance on Mental Health. https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/September-2016/When-Looking-for-Happiness-Find-Gratitude 

Khorrami, N. (2020, July 20). Gratitude helps curb anxiety. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/comfort-gratitude/202007/gratitude-helps-curb-anxiety 

Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J., & Geraghty, A. W. A. (2010). Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(7), 890-905. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2010.03.005 

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