MLT Blog

Practicing Gratitude

Alyson Pierce is the Digital Content Producer at MLT. This is the third post in our Health and Wellness series.

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation and be kind. Gratitude is important for a happy and healthy life and the benefits are endless. Studies have shown that those who regularly practice gratitude are not only happier but are better equipped to deal with adversity, build stronger relationships, sleep better and have stronger immune systems! It can be easy to get caught up in the stress of everyday life and forget to take the time to appreciate all that you have. Below are some quick tips for how you can easily incorporate gratitude into your life.

  • Gratitude Journal – A gratitude journal can be a great resource and reminder of all that you are grateful for. A study completed by Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, entitled “Counting Blessings versus Burdens” revealed the positive effects of keeping a gratitude journal. In the study, they asked three groups of participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics. The first group wrote about things they were grateful for that occurred during the week, a second group wrote about daily irritations and the third wrote about events that affected them with no emphasis if they were positive or negative experiences. After 10 weeks, they found that those who focused on what they were grateful for reported a higher overall satisfaction with life, exercised more and also reported fewer visits to the doctor.
  • Volunteering- Giving back to your community can be a rewarding experience for all involved. You can volunteer to tutor at a nearby elementary school, drive an elderly neighbor to the grocery store or volunteer at a local hospital. Helping those in need can be a humbling reminder that the world is bigger than you and your own problems. Find a cause you care about and sign up!
  • Thank You Notes – Can you remember the last time you sent someone a thank you note? And not just a note as a follow up from a job interview or for a gift, but a note simply expressing appreciation. Choose a person who has made a positive impact in your life and write down what it is about them that you appreciate. In a digital world, handwritten notes are a lost art and can feel even more special to the recipient knowing you took the time to write your feelings. Often times, you will find people are not even aware of the impact that they have made on you. As the saying goes, “Give people their flowers while they can still smell them”. Brightening someone else’s day will surely brighten yours as well.

To see our most recent post in the Health & Wellness series, click here.