How Being Grateful Can Improve Your Life

Me + Coffee = Grateful
Me + Coffee = Grateful

Thinking about what we’re grateful for doesn’t need to occur just once a year in late November. The practice of expressing gratitude, be it verbal or written, has incredible benefits for our health and well-being

The seven benefits listed in the Forbes article linked to above are:

  • Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
  • Gratitude improves physical health.
  • Gratitude improves psychological health.
  • Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
  • Grateful people sleep better.
  • Gratitude improves self-esteem.
  • Gratitude increases mental strength.

It’s amazing to think that something that is both free and relatively simple to do (being grateful/expressing gratitude) can have such a profound effect on the human mind, body, and spirit. In those moments we are thinking about what we don’t have or what we feel we deserve, a slight shift in perspective is all that’s needed. Instead, we can choose to think about the positives and all we DO have and the benefits of doing so will help improve our lives.

Thinking about what we’re grateful for doesn’t need to occur just once a year in late November. The practice of expressing gratitude, be it verbal or written, has incredible benefits for our health and well-being.

— Brene Brown

Sometimes, though, we may be in a place in our lives where feelings of gratitude are hard to identify. Let me reassure you that is completely normal . When we’re used to thinking about all that is wrong in our lives, the shift to thinking about what is good in our lives may take some practice. My advice: start small. Is it sunny outside? You can choose to feel grateful for the sun warming your skin. Did someone smile at you during a trip to the store? You can choose to feel grateful for the act of kindness from a stranger. It may sound cheesy, but don’t let that stop you from trying. The more you get into the habit, the easier it will become.

That leads me to gratitude journals. You may be asking, “what are they and why should I have one?” Journaling what we are grateful for helps keep a record that can be referenced whenever we may be feeling anxious, angry, stressed or any other feeling that is keeping us in a state of distress. In keeping a journal of all you are grateful for, you not only reap the benefits listed above, but you have an official gratitude list to reference when you aren’t feeling particularly good about anything. Choosing to focus on the good may not come easily at first, but if you start small and keep at it, the results may surprise you.

Nothing But Love For Sunsets
Nothing But Love For Sunsets

We at CaredFor believe that both thinking of what we’re grateful for and expressing gratitude is so important that we created a new feature in our app called the “Gratitude Journal.” It allows our users to keep a digital journal of what they’re grateful for and even includes prompts to make it easier to get started. Each entry has the ability to be private to only the user or the user can choose to have the entry visible to their team.

Today I am grateful for the beautiful day after weeks of rain and gloom, jamming to The Rolling Stones at my desk with my colleague, and for the smiling faces of my kids that I’ll see at the end of the day. 

What are you grateful for today?