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Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

Practicing giving thanks is often done around the Thanksgiving table, however, it is an

important practice that can be cultivated throughout the year. In recent years, research has

found that intentionally practicing gratitude can have positive mental, physical, and social

benefits. One study, conducted by researchers Bohlmeijer et al. (2020), found that a daily,

fifteen minute gratitude practice for six week boosted overall mental wellbeing of research

participants. Gratitude may even have important benefits for heart health. A 2019 review of

gratitude research from researchers Jans-Beken (et al) found that gratitude journaling may

cause a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure. The act of practicing gratitude activates

the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxing the body systems. With

all the documented benefits of gratitude, you may be asking yourself how this can be practiced

in your own life. Below are tips to help you get started!

1. Keeping a gratitude journal. This can be as easy as taking a few minutes at the end of each

day to reflect on what you are grateful for-- try being observant throughout the day, and

express thanks for even the smallest moments of life.

2. Sharing the spirit of gratitude. Try expressing thanks to neighbor, family member, or friend.

This could make a world of difference in the lives of others! Sending a thank you note can also

be a way to express thanks for those you are grateful for.

3. Positive reframing. Oftentimes, we may be tempted to look at the negative of a situation.

Actively reframing our thoughts from what we don't have, to what we have and can be grateful

for can shift our perspective and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Struggling to get started? Let one of our skilled therapists help!

By Jade Caswell, MA, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern


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