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Navigating Life's Journey Blog

Navigating Life's Journey Blog

Helping others navigate this journey of Life!

A weekly blog from the Family & Consumer Sciences Department

Ways to Increase Gratitude

by Ashley Henderson - November 16, 2017

As Thanksgiving approaches, many take this time of year to express gratitude. Research has shown that gratitude makes a significant impact on our cardiovascular and immune systems. Grateful brains show areas of increased activity associated with emotional understanding, interpersonal bonding, and rewarding social interactions. Moral judgement, and the ability to empathize, connect with, and understand others perspectives was increased.

Ways to increase your gratitude:

Journaling: Take time to write a few things that you are grateful for. This can be either every day, or a few times a week, whatever works best for you.

Gratitude Rock: Pick a rock, or any other small object, to carry around with you, whenever you see or touch the rock, pause and think of at least one thing that you are grateful for.

Gratitude Walk: Take a walk outside, observing the beauty around you.

Gratitude Letter/Visit: Write a hand-written letter expressing gratitude to someone for something that you haven’t yet thanked them for. You can then mail the letter or deliver it in person.

Gratitude meditation: Settle into a comfortable position. Take a few calming breaths. Notice the things in your immediate environment, the things you can see, smell, touch, taste and hear. Say to yourself: “For this, I am grateful.” Think about the people in your life who are close to you. Say to yourself: “For this, I am grateful.” Turn your attention to yourself, all the things that make you unique. Say to yourself: “For this, I am grateful.”

Infographic about ways to increase gratitude