Life is chaos—so many philosophical and psychological constructs point to it. Within this chaos, it’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed and stretched to our limits. As we navigate the delicate balance of work, personal commitments, and social obligations, it’s crucial to prioritise your own wellbeing, in whatever way that works for you (make sure to join our inner circle for daily support with this).

With self-care in mind, though, what about the role of gratitude? It might sound trite, even too small to make any difference, but a regular gratitude practice can actually have profound benefits. Let’s dive in and lay out the four huge shifts that’ll happen in your life with a regular gratitude habit.

1. Gratitude beats stress

You’re stressed, I’m stressed, your kid’s hamster’s stressed, and we don’t talk about children’s stress levels because… they can’t possibly be stressed, can they? Stress affects both your mental and physical well-being in a fairly damaging way, especially when that stress goes unnoticed or unchecked. But I’m here to bring you a golden ray of light by way of a simple answer you might not have thought of: incorporating moments of gratitude into your daily routine can be a powerful antidote to daily stress.

Numerous studies (like this one) have shown that expressing gratitude activates the brain’s reward system, releasing dopamine and serotonin—the feel-good neurotransmitters. By creating a habit of gratitude, you’re literally building resilience against stress, promoting emotional well-being and supporting your body in really big ways.

2. Gratitude supports your physical health

The impact of gratitude extends well beyond emotional well-being; it significantly influences your physical health, too. Research suggests that individuals who engage in regular gratitude practices experience lower blood pressure, improved immune function, and better cardiovascular health. And what happens as a result of improving these markers in your body? More healing, less pain, better moods, and greater overall wellbeing. The mind-body connection is undeniable, and by nurturing a thankful mindset, you not only boost your mood but also support your body’s overall health.

3. Enhanced Sleep Quality

Quality sleep is a cornerstone of good health, yet it often eludes us in the fast-paced world we live in. How many times have you been beaten by insomnia to wind up staying up in the dark blinking dully at your Instagram feed? Too many, I’d wager (and me, too). But a regular gratitude habit has been linked to improved sleep quality and duration in studies; the individuals who practiced gratitude reported better sleep and decreased symptoms of insomnia. By cultivating this habit, you’re quite literally paving the way for better sleep which, incase you didn’t realise, positively impacts absolutely everything else about your life.

4. Gratitude Builds Resilience

Life’s challenges persist, no matter how much self-care you do, so building resilience is essential for navigating them successfully. Gratitude acts as a powerful tool for resilience by shifting your focus from what’s lacking to what you have. It encourages a positive outlook, fostering the ability to adapt and bounce back from adversity. Not only are you gaining all of the positive mental and physical health benefits mentioned above, you’re building the foundations of a resilient outlook on life, no matter what challenges come your way.

The takeaway

Gratitude may be small but is hugely mighty. Scientific research (here’s another one, incase you’re not convinced) not only supports its profound impact on emotional well-being but also underscores its tangible physical health benefits. As you embrace the power of gratitude, consider it a gift to yourself—a practice that transcends seasons, weathers storms, and builds your fortitude; gratitude is your best (and easiest to maintain) friend when it comes to holistic well-being throughout the year.

Start your gratitude habit

This can be as easy as making note of the best things that happen in a day (use my Joy Journal to support you here—this is the journal I’ve built specifically for this habit).

But if you really want to dive into a supported gratitude habit, join our 5-Week More Joy Gratitude Challenge which, let’s face it, is less of a ‘challenge’ and more of a wonderful dive into your own wellbeing. Join us for yoga classes, meditations, sleep sessions, and gratitude journalling which will, quite literally, rewire your brain.

Chloe - TYR Founder & Joyful Living Coach

POSTED: 15/01/2024

Chloe is a yoga teacher, mindfulness guide, and joyful living coach, and she thinks the meaning of life is probably to be as happy as possible.

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