Stress Awareness Tip #4

Little girl holding heart
Practicing gratitude or thankfulness is the focus of today’s tip. As kids we are taught to say please and thank you. Well now we can use something that we were taught as kids to help us with stress. The practice of gratitude can be a fun and rewarding way to help bust stress and shift perspective. Plus there are more benefits to gratitude than just stress reduction. Here are just a few:

  • Helps cope with stress
  • People who are grateful tend to be more optimistic which is a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system.
  • Greater sense of emotional well-being and sense of happiness in life
  • Greater levels of gratitude tend to lead towards encouraging stronger relationships because of the appreciation showed to loved ones

Gratitude can become a practice that becomes a daily part of your life to not only help with stress but prevent stress and start your day off on a positive note. One of my favorite ways to combine two stress reducing ideas (gratitude and exercise) is to take a walk and with each step or two steps say something you are thankful for. It is amazing how calming this practice can be. A popular exercise is to keep a gratitude journal or gratitude document on your computer that you can access on a daily basis. Another fun option that takes place on this website is the option to post your blessings/gratitudes in community. Each day I post a blessing and invite others to do so as well. Just remember that this is about sharing our gratitude and not about comparing. During the day when things are building up or even before the build up, look at what blessings are in your life currently. This also extends to when you find yourself complaining about something. Take the time to gently remind yourself about 4 or 5 things you are grateful for. Lastly, think of people in your life who have recently done something nice for you and send them a thank you note, email, or text. Not only does it help you to send the thank you, but you may just have made someone else’s day.

References and Further Reading:

WebMD – Boost Your Health With a Dose of Gratitude
About Health – The Benefits of Cultivating Gratitude for Stress Relief
Huffpost Healthy Living – Flex Your Gratitude Muscle, and Lift Stress Away

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