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Why Be Grateful?

Research shows that gratitude is consistently and firmly linked with greater satisfaction and joy in life and increased happiness. Gratitude also has far reaching health benefits including decreased depression, increased resilience, improved sleep, decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, and healthier, stronger relationships. Moreover, grateful people are more positive, feel more hopeful and are more likely to successfully handle challenges.

Gratitude helps us notice and appreciate the good in our lives, and adding a gratitude practice to your day can significantly improve your daily life. Here are a few ways you can incorporate a gratitude practice into your life:

• When you wake each morning before getting out of bed, think of one thing you are grateful for and let yourself feel it. Next, think of one thing you are proud of and do the same thing. (Note: Select something different every day)

• Think about someone who has had a positive influence in your life and express your appreciation by writing this person an email or handwritten letter that shares how they impact(ed) your life in a positive way.

• Look got opportunities to say “thank you” every day. You’ll find them.

• Go for a walk and notice the nature that surrounds you such as the beauty of a majestic tree, the feel of a gentle breeze or the colors you see in a bed of flowers. Use your senses to take it all in and tune into what you see, hear, smell, and feel.

• Keep a journal and at the end of each day write down three good things about your day. For example, you could write about moving through a challenge successfully that day, accomplishing some tasks that helped you move closer to a goal, enjoying a tasty meal, listening to music, or spending time with a special person.

Adding a gratitude practice to your day is like exercise, the more you do it the better you feel and the more you accept it as a regular part of your day. It eventually becomes second nature by which you’ll feel a whoosh of thanksgiving!


Success Tip: Gratitude should not be practiced in a way that compares yourself to others. It’s not about who has it worse or better. Rather, it’s about finding what’s available, here and now, that you can appreciate.


The cultivation of gratitude can be a great resource when you feel mentally and emotionally stuck in a negative spiral. If you’re tired of being in the same place and not moving forward, reach out to me, and together we can talk about how you can start creating more of what you want in your life.

Dawn Nelson, MSW, CHT, CPC

Professional Coaching Services

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