Sometimes life gets the best of us. We are bogged down with our endless things we need to do on our lists that could fill a scroll to China. We end up complaining about how much we need to do or get done, and it can make it hard to be positive and appreciate what we have. We also live in a capitalist culture, where material wealth is important to us although that’s not going to make us happy in the long run. To feel better about ourselves and our lives, we should practice being grateful. Why? For two reasons: psychological and physical.
One of the ways you can easily practice being grateful is to use a good ol’ pen and paper journal to write stuff down. Saying what you wrote out loud isn’t a bad idea either. The physical and psychological reasons why you should practice being grateful come from two different studies:
Do you want your skin to slow its aging process? While you may think that our genes are the main culprit, au contraire! Nurture > Nature in this case. Olay and 23andMe conducted a study on participants regarding aging and found that those who reported to having a positive attitude are 30% more likely to age better. Other factors including restful sleep, wearing sunscreen, regular exercise.
Laura King and her colleagues at Southern Methodist University conducted a study on participants asking them to write down the best experiences in their lives and found that, compared to the control group, they were significantly happier from reliving these positive experiences from their lives.
Keeping a Grateful Journal
How can you practice gratefulness with a grateful journal? For a couple days a week, write down three things you are grateful for that happened that day. Everybody loves a good list. On other days, write down positive experiences from your past, hopes about your future, and a short letter to a person that you’re thankful for. It’s best to write in your grateful journal at least five days a week but writing in it more wouldn’t hurt you.
Just a couple of minutes a day is all you need. Just think of that beautiful skin that will result from it long-term.
After a few weeks of doing this, you’re bound to feel happier about your life. Getting some sunshine and exercising regularly always helps too.
What do you do to practice gratefulness?