Benefits of Gratitude
It seems like gratitude is one of those things that finds its way into everyone’s new year’s resolutions, goal morning routines, or every influencer’s “how to be in a better mood” post. If these how’s don’t resonate with you, but maybe the why will.
It’s true, gratitude should be at the top of everyone’s list of how to be a healthier, happier you. Not only does it promote positivity and optimistic thoughts, but it’s actually backed by science! Practicing gratitude is shown to improve overall well-being, the way we regulate our emotions, and our ability to self-motivate.  If you’ve ever done the rice test, you know this to be true.
The rice test is an easy at-home experiment to visually see the impact gratitude and positive talk can have on life. Take two different sealed jars of cooked rice and literally speak to and treat them differently. One jar should be in a bright, sunny location (much like a grateful demeanor) and you can either speak aloud how grateful you are to have food, that you have a jar to put your food in, that you have time in your day to eat, etc., or you an write them down and place it on or near the jar. And the other—treat it like your negative attitude punching bag. Leave it alone, in the dark, complain to it. Soon enough, you will find one jar of rice is molding at a much faster rate than the other. I’m sure you don’t have to think too hard about which one it is.
3 Ways to Express Gratitude All Year
Now that we’re all amped up about being grateful, let’s talk about how. Here are 3 different ways to act and feel grateful every day.
Journaling focused around gratitude does not have to be a list of things you’re grateful for, though that’s one great way to go about it. You can journal about things you’ve accomplished, praise the positive people in your life, extract a blessing from a recent burden, anything that shines a light on the great things happening in your life—big and small.
You don’t need to be a devout Catholic or Orthodox Jewish to pray. Prayer can simply be acknowledging your place in the world, the impact you make or others have made on you, and the gift that is waking up every day. Prayer can be one of the highest forms of gratitude, and has even been implicated to improve the wellbeing of patients and nurses in hospital settings.  All in all, prayer can be a form of meditation where you simply acknowledge the gift of life and the vast world around you that makes you, you.
The act of gift giving is common among many cultures, and it’s not just on birthdays and holidays. In some areas of the world, going over to someone’s home just to hang out warrants a gift, even something small like a candy. Gifting can be a small way of giving thanks and practicing gratitude. Gifts can relay anything from “thank you for having me over for dinner” to “I’m grateful for your support and friendship”.
We’ll leave you with this quote by Rumi: Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.