Along my own journey to better health, I’ve discovered there are a few important factors that impact happiness, productivity, and overall well-being greatly:
- Stress Reduction
Today, we’re going to focus on Stress Reduction and one of the simplest but most powerful state shifter I’ve seen in my 14 years in practice as a therapist.
Studies show that adopting an attitude of gratitude can not only transform your health but your entire life! Cultivating a gratitude practice can take some getting used to, but the benefits of gratitude are endless. In fact, it is one of my favorite recommendations as the antidote to burnout and stress!
What is a Gratitude Practice?
A gratitude practice takes the act of being grateful to the next level. It involves intentionally appreciating what we have in our lives – turning toward any situation, fact, or person with thankfulness of some kind, even if it doesn’t feel worthy of it at the time.
This powerful practice begins with affirming the good things in our lives. These affirmations don’t ignore our struggles but allow us to focus on our lives as a whole, rather than focusing on what’s going wrong (which is easy to do). From there, we can acknowledge where goodness comes from, including the people, spiritual powers, or the universe.
The Benefits of a Gratitude Practice
Practicing gratitude sounds simple, which can make it all too easy to skip over.
But research shows that practicing gratitude for even a few weeks can reduce symptoms of stress, enhance emotional well-being, and promote a greater sense of happiness. 
Plus, cultivating a gratitude practice is one of the more accessible mental health and self-care activities. It costs nothing!
Here are a few of the many benefits of a gratitude practice.
Lowers feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Numerous studies indicate that people with high levels of gratitude have better psychological health and enhanced coping skills, effectively lowering their feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression. 
Improves self-esteem. Gratitude can help you improve how you judge yourself and decrease your need to compare yourself with others. 
Fights symptoms of physical illness. Feelings of gratitude can positively impact your quality of life and help you heal more quickly. Research indicates that practicing gratitude can enhance many traditional disease treatments by lowering blood pressure, decreasing your heart rate, improving your metabolic function, and controlling hormonal imbalances. 
Reduces feelings of loneliness. Several research studies have found that gratitude is associated with increased feelings of happiness, life satisfaction, and social appeal, which are generally rated very poorly in people struggling with feelings of loneliness. 
Aids in coping with trauma. A consistent gratitude practice can bolster feelings of resilience which have been shown to help those dealing with trauma to recover more rapidly. 
Keeps you aligned with the present moment. Gratitude magnifies our positive emotions and the positive pleasures we get from our lives, allowing us to live more fully in the present moment.
Gratitude to Beat Burnout
Are you always on the go, forever busy? Have trouble slowing down to really appreciate the silver linings in your life?
If this sounds like you, you may be feeling a sense of burnout.
One of the best ways to beat burnout is through gratitude.
People who struggle with burnout report experiencing a greater sense of well-being and decreased feelings of anxiety after incorporating gratitude into their life – myself included!
Gratitude to Relieve Stress
Several factors go into building emotional resilience, but studies show that cultivating a sense of gratitude releases dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions. These feel-good chemicals help enhance our mood and boost our happiness.
Regular gratitude practices can help strengthen these pathways in our brains, creating a more permanent sense of positivity and helping combat stress.
How to Cultivate a Gratitude Practice
One of the most powerful ways to rewire the brain for more joy and less stress is gratitude. But it can be challenging. It’s easy to slip back into our negative mindset.
Gratitude takes practice like any other skill. Here are some ways to begin creating a gratitude practice.
1. Think about your gratitude once a day.
Start by reflecting on what you’re grateful for once a day. Whether first thing in the morning or right before bed, having a dedicated time to focus on three to five things you are grateful for can help ease you into your practice.
2. Keep a gratitude journal.
Writing what you are grateful for down in a journal is one of the best ways to deepen your practice. Try jotting down five things you are grateful for each day with as much detail as possible. Take your time with your journal, reflecting deeply on your gifts, benefits, and blessings. There are some beautiful journals available, including my favorite by my friend Michael Alperstein, The Joyful Heart Gratitude Journal.
3. Remember the challenges
One of the essential things about gratitude is remembering challenges you’ve overcome.
At first, it may seem uncomfortable to think about your challenges or struggles and work to identify why you are grateful for them.
Try asking yourself these questions to uncover gratitude in your challenges.
What did I learn from this challenge?
What path or opportunity did that challenge open for me?
How have I grown because of this challenge?
4. Share your gratitude with others.
Social connectedness is a massive part of expanding and solidifying your gratitude practice. Share with others why you are grateful for them or their actions. Try to share these points when expressing your gratitude to others:
- Detail what the person did
- Acknowledge the effort they put in
- Describe how their action benefited you
5. Practice, practice, practice.
I can’t say this enough!
Whether you are cultivating a gratitude practice to bust burnout, relieve stress, or improve your self-esteem, it takes practice. Be patient with yourself. It may take some time before identifying and acknowledging the things you are grateful for comes easily. But you’ll see quickly that your entire world begins to shift, as you train your mind to focus on positive experiences.
Are you ready to cultivate an attitude of gratitude but struggling to get started? I see you, friend! I’ve been there! But I believe in you. That’s why I created a 10 minute reset that you can use to begin practising daily with my voice guiding you through some simple breathing exercises coupled with visualization and affirmations.
Now, if you want to take things further, for a limited time, I’m offering a Holiday Reset – a 90 minute consultation to get you set up for 2023.
Because you don’t need to wait until January 1st to decide what you want 2023 to be about for you. Get clear on the life you want to create, supported by proven daily practices personalized to accelerate your growth, without you having to do more!
For those who book before the end of November, I’ll also include a NES Frequency Medicine Scan and Full Report!
Book a clarity coffee call to learn more.