During the holiday season, we are often more aware of giving thanks, but practicing gratitude on a regular basis has shown to improve people's overall well being and mental health.
Research shows that practicing gratitude for even just a few minutes a day improves our overall happiness and success in five key areas of our life including emotional, social, professional, personal and physical.
Like all good habits, practicing gratitude takes time and intentionality. But the small amount of effort it takes to focus on our gratitude pays huge dividends. Our culture tends to remind us to focus on negatives and what we don't have, but by refocusing our mindset, we can become happier by appreciating all that we do have.
Since setting an intention to practice gratitude is a commitment, it's best to start small. Writing in a gratitude journal is a great way to start. Just taking a few moments out of your day to write three to five things for which you're grateful can reap huge rewards. One possible journal prompt is to write about a happy memory.
As Brother David Steindal-Rast stated, "It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful."