Gratitude is a popular topic around Thanksgiving time. In the last few years, though, giving thanks has grown into a perennial routine. Expressing gratitude has been proven time and time again to increase self-confidence, feelings of hopefulness, and even as a tool for stress management. But a lot of people remain confused about how, exactly, to show love and appreciation on a daily basis.
In today’s blog, I’m going to walk you through all of the amazing benefits of expressing gratitude, how to do it, and why it should be as important as drinking water in your daily routine.
Why is Daily Gratitude Important?
Gratitude is the overarching principle that everything you have is a gift – the good and the bad. It instills the idea that everything happens for us, and never to us. The main takeaway of giving thanks is that you acknowledge there are infinitely more blessings in your life than burdens.
The reason this is important is because wherever your focus goes, so do you. For example, think of a friend or family member that always complains about having bad luck. Somehow, bad luck continues to find them. That’s because that’s what they’re focusing on.
If you express gratitude on a regular basis, consistently taking note of all of the amazing things you have to be thankful for, more blessings will find their way into your life. If you’ve ever heard of the power of manifestation, gratitude sits at its core.
How Can I Express Gratitude In My Everyday Life?
There are so many ways to give thanks on a regular basis. I have a few go-to exercises that I’ll share with you, but don’t feel limited to this list.
One classic way to express gratitude is to write down the things you’re grateful for. Every morning, open up a journal and commit to writing down 10 things. Remember, they don’t have to be extravagant. Waking up, having a roof over your head, and getting to go to work that day are all great examples.
The perfect time to give thanks is before a meal. If you’re religious, this may look like prayer. If not, it can look like appreciating the journey your food made to get from the earth to your plate. Giving thanks to all of the people and processes that made the meal in front of you possible is an incredible way to express gratitude.
In Times of Stress
This one may sound odd, but times of turmoil are the perfect time to be grateful. Think of any time you’ve been driving and got cut off by someone. Instead of spending the next two miles huffing and puffing, decide to give thanks that no one was hurt. There are so many things that can go wrong in life, choosing to look at every situation positively can help with stress management tremendously.
How Can This Affect My Overall Health?
When you think of someone with self-confidence, what qualities do you think of? Are they always complaining or worrying, or do they have an air of “everything happens for a reason”? I would argue the latter, and that’s because gratitude is shown to increase overall well-being.
Feeling good about yourself and your life doesn’t come from having more things, it comes from appreciating the things you have. Instead of looking at a glass half full or empty, gratitude says “the glass is refillable”.
One study found that just five minutes of journaling per day increased long-term happiness by 10%.  I don’t think I know anyone who wouldn’t want to be 10% happier in exchange for five minutes per day!
Another study found that people who made gratitude a regular practice showed increased self-confidence and satisfaction in life than those who didn’t.  This proves my point that when you focus on the good, the good gets better. That doesn’t mean you’ll never experience hardships or you can’t feel sadness or frustration in life. What it does mean is that even when you’re at rock bottom, there is good to be found.
For the next week, carve out five minutes each day to express gratitude. You can do this in a journal, as a meditation, before a meal, in the car – the where is not as important as the how! Just take time to acknowledge all of the gifts in your life, big and small, and watch your stress melt away.