Do you often take time to reflect on the things for which you are grateful in your life? Gratitude is an important emotion and habit that everyone should try to cultivate more of in their lives. Numerous studies show the powerful effects of gratitude on both the mind and body, and just how much of a difference it can make to overall mood. We have all had people tell us to “count your blessings” and “think of all the things you are grateful for”, but sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. This article explores just how powerful gratitude is, and how to use gratitude affirmations to feel a positive shift in body, mind, and spirit.
What is gratitude?
Gratitude is both an emotion and a practice. You can feel grateful for something in your life, but you can also practice showing gratitude to others for what they have done for you. One definition of gratitude is “the quality of being thankful and readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
We can feel grateful for the simple things in life such as a sunny day or a cup of coffee in the morning, but we can also feel grateful for the big blessings, such as a loving partner or a fulfilling job. We can also experience gratitude when something unexpected yet pleasant happens in our lives, for example, the perfect parking spot becoming available, or a change in schedule which means an extra 20 minutes in bed in the morning.
Gratitude can also be expressed as well as felt. We can express gratitude internally through grateful thoughts (this is where affirmations become very useful), and we can also express our gratitude to others, which is a selfless and powerful act. Expressing gratitude and appreciation to others might include sending a thank you note, having a heartwarming conversation, or performing an act of service. However you choose to express gratitude, you will still feel the positive effects.
What are the effects of gratitude?
It’s proven that when we practice gratitude we are more likely to feel happy and content with what we have. This feeling of happiness leads to healthier relationships with others and better self-esteem. It can even help improve our sleep habits! Practicing gratitude also helps us overcome challenges by making them seem less challenging than they actually are because you’ve already experienced how grateful you were for overcoming obstacles in the past. When life throws us curve balls, we have the opportunity to think about what is good in our lives instead of focusing on what isn’t.
In the last few decades, a lot of research has been done on how gratitude can make people happier and healthier. Research suggests that grateful people are more optimistic about their futures, and they tend to be less judgmental and more generous than those who are not so thankful for what they have. Gratitude is also a great way to improve relationships. Rather than coming from a place of judgment and criticism, gratitude allows us to appreciate our loved ones for what they already do for us, rather than what we might expect of them.
How do I use gratitude affirmations?
Positive affirmations are an extremely effective tool for practicing gratitude. An affirmation is a statement, usually written in the first person, which promotes feelings of optimism, joy, and positivity. They are used to help combat negative thoughts or critical ways of thinking. You can read about the science behind them here.
You can use affirmations in many different ways. One way is to repeat them, either aloud or mentally, when you notice your mood drop or your thoughts become more critical. You can also set reminders on your phone throughout the day to direct your attention towards an affirmation. Some people find it very useful to write affirmations in places where they will see them often, for example, as their phone wallpaper, or on their office desk. You can also use affirmation cards if you would like to work with them on a deeper level. The key is to repeat each affirmation often, as this is what helps rewire your brain to become more optimistic.
Feel free to use the ones that resonate and leave or change the ones that don’t. You can learn how to write your own affirmations here.
- I choose to cultivate feelings of gratitude.
- I am grateful for the small things in life.
- Gratitude comes naturally to me.
- I cultivate a deep appreciation for all the blessings in my life.
- I appreciate my loved ones.
- Expressing love and appreciation comes easily to me.
- I am grateful for my health.
- I appreciate my family and friends.
- Today, I choose to feel grateful for my life.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to serve others.
- I give thanks for all the lessons I am learning.
- My body is healthy and strong and I appreciate my vitality.
- I am grateful for all of the love that surrounds me.
- I am thankful that the sun is shining today.
- Today, I will be kind to others.
- I am grateful that there are so many wonderful people in the world.
- I appreciate all the opportunities that are available to me.
- My mood is lifted instantly when I express gratitude.
- I cultivate loving and grateful thoughts.
- I am thankful for simply being alive.
- Thank you for this new day and these new opportunities.
- I am grateful for the lessons that each individual teaches me.
- I practice gratitude on a daily basis.
- My energy field is lifted and expanded every time I choose to be grateful.
- I have access to clean water and food and therefore I am very grateful.
- I am grateful for each mistake I make as I become wiser in the process.
- Each day is a gift and I intend to make the most of it.
- I love and appreciate my family and all that they do for me.
- I am grateful for my surroundings and the comfort they provide me.
- Love, joy, gratitude and appreciation are my priorities in life.
Expressing gratitude and cultivating a grateful mindset have wonderful effects on the body, mind, and spirit. Gratitude makes us see the beauty in our struggles, and also helps us count our blessings. Use these gratitude affirmations to cultivate a sense of appreciation for your life and feel the sense of expansion they bring!