Gratitude is a staple of the Magical Moments philosophy. It is the very foundation of the practice. (And if you’re not sure what Magical Moments are, be sure to check out our posts on Creating Magical Moments and Living With Purpose.)
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude, to me, is like a breath of fresh air. To look around and think of all the great things in your life is a quick way to shift from a negative to a positive day.
Want more joy? Practice gratitude for that which brings joy and watch your mindset shift.
Want more good luck? Practice gratitude for the luck you already have.
Want more money? Be grateful for the money that you have and the opportunity to bring in more.
And so the pattern continues!
Gratitude is something bigger than a cute word to put on wall art. It is how we can completely transform the way we look at our lives from small micro details to the bigger perspective. You can implement gratitude into your home, your food, your relationships and partners, your career and more.
Gratitude is simply giving thanks for that which is in your life. This can look different from a silent thought in your mind, to speaking it out loud, praying, sharing with family or writing it down.
The Benefits of Gratitude
We love this collection of benefits of gratitude by PositivyPsychology.com. In their post they shed light into the emotional, social, personality, career, and health benefits of practicing gratitude.
Some benefits that I have experienced through gratitude include:
A Shift in Perspective Regarding Relationships
Focusing on the benefits and love of my family, rather than why they annoy me is a great way to meet them with love rather than bitterness or frustration. I find that showing love and kindness also welcomes love and kindness.
An Increase in Presence & Satisfaction
Sometimes I suffer from “shiny object syndrome”, where the grass always seems greener wherever I’m not. I get stuck in a mode of focusing my desire for the next goal, project, achievement etc. Gratitude helps center me to enjoy life as it is and ground into presence.
Focusing On The Little Things
We can easily lose our appreciation for the little things in our lives. Gratitude helps us shed light and thankfulness into the small joys we often take for granted. A smile on the face of a loved one. The beauty of the sun through the trees. Waking up and feeling well mentally, physically or emotionally.
Why Gratitude Is Good For Your Health
Did you know there are a wealth of benefits to keeping a gratitude journal?
A 2018 study entitled “The Science of Gratitude” outlined a list of advantages attributed to practicing gratitude for individuals:
- increased happiness and positive mood
- more satisfaction with life
- less materialistic
- less likely to experience burnout
- better physical health
- better sleep
- less fatigue
- lower levels of cellular inflammation
- greater resiliency
- encourages the development of patience, humility, and wisdom
Researchers analyzed their findings to find out why gratitude has these effects.
Here were the 4 main effects of gratitude:
Gratitude disconnects us from negative emotions and ruminating.
Writing down what we’re grateful for “shifts our attention” so that our focus is on positive emotions.
Expressing gratitude helps us even if we don’t directly share it with someone else.
We’re happier and more satisfied with life simply because we wrote about it.
The positive effects of gratitude writing build up!
You might not notice the benefit of a daily or weekly practice, but after several weeks and months, you will.
A gratitude practice trains the brain to be more in tune with experiencing gratitude in the moment.
Multiple studies have found that keeping a gratitude journal can also have positive effects on organs like the heart!
You know that I’m a huge proponent of creating magical moments for yourself and others, and I find that regularly tracking my joy allows me to fully experience and appreciate them through reflection. It puts into perspective all that is good in my life so that even when I’m having a bad day, I remain aware of the beauty all around me.
What will your gratitude journal look like? What will the first entry be about?