Health & wellbeing

It’s good to be grateful

Gratitude journals have been popular for a while now, but what’s all the fuss about?

What’s gratitude?
Being grateful or showing gratitude is about feeling thankful for the positive things in your life – whatever puts a smile on your face! It could be acts of kindness shown by others or even something as simple as waking up to a sunny day.

Why be grateful?
Keeping record of the things you’re grateful for could help you feel more positive overall, but there are other more concrete health and wellbeing benefits too. Professor of psychology and leading scientific expert on the science of gratitude, Robert A. Emmons, believes that being grateful can help ‘lower blood pressure, improve immune function, facilitate more efficient sleep, and reduce lifetime risk of depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders’. Studies have also shown that grateful people are more likely to exercise regularly and eat more healthily – both hugely beneficial on a weight-loss journey.

How can I become more grateful?
One of the simplest ways to record your gratitude is with a journal or digital notepad. At the end of each day, jot down a couple of things that made you feel good so that you have something to look back on when you’re going through a rough patch. But you could also…

• Remember things that make you feel grateful with visual reminders – whether that’s displaying a picture of your ultra-positive BFF or keeping a motivational mantra attached to your mirror.

• Voice your gratitude or write a letter of thanks to somebody that has made a positive difference to your life. Putting gratitude into practice could help you feel even more thankful.

• If you’re having trouble feeling grateful, remind yourself how far you’ve come. When you look back over your past achievements, you may feel a new appreciation for where you are on your journey now.