How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

The Nystrom & Associates provider consulted for this article is Lindsay Barganz-Junker, MA, LMFT, DBT Team Lead/Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Focusing on gratitude is a life-altering tool, but hearing someone say, “Be grateful!” can seem like a broken record. However, it’s a cliché for a reason. Gratitude can change your life. It’s always the next best thing that promises bliss-a new car, trendier clothes, or more likes on social media. In a culture that says we need more to be happy, there’s a tendency to complain or default to a negative outlook. The constant comparison can leave us feeling overwhelmed and inadequate.

Shift Your Thoughts, Shift Your Life

Take power back into your own hands by allowing gratitude to change your life. Instead of focusing on what you lack, focus on what you have. Focusing on what you already have in front of you will automatically shift your perspective into a state of enough. When we realize what we have is enough and that we are enough, happiness blooms. Related: 10 Ways to Increase Your Happiness

How Do We Choose Gratitude?

Choosing gratitude begins with acceptance. Being grateful is an intentional practice that will reap benefits in the long run. Related: What Radical Acceptance Is & How to Apply it In Your Life Most importantly, remember that while it’s easy to be grateful when things are smooth sailing, being grateful during hard times is equally crucial. Staying diligent in a gratitude practice will transform your life.

The Benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude heals the mind and opens you up to a new world of possibilities, and the research behind gratitude supports this. DBT Team Lead/Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Lindsay Barganz-Junker, explains, "The research shows that listing three things you are grateful for each day, for 40 days, will significantly improve your mental health.” Barganz adds, “Even the act of searching for gratitude releases happy hormones in your brain.” But there are many more benefits of practicing gratitude. For example, gratitude changes your life so you: Related: How Interpersonal Effectiveness Improves Your Relationships

Start a Gratitude Practice

In short, cultivating gratitude can change your life and positively impact the people around you, creating a ripple effect. Start now to make a difference. Here are a few gratitude practice ideas:
  • List three things you’re grateful for on a post-it note and stick it by your desk.
  • Create a running gratitude list on your phone.
  • If someone special to you is on your gratitude list, send them a quick text or phone call letting them know how thankful you are for them.
  • Start a gratitude journal and write down what you’re grateful for at the end of each day.
  • Record what you’re thankful for in your world with a gratitude jar that you can overflow with memories to reflect upon.

A Word From Nystrom & Associates

Above all, we’re grateful for our clients and providers who have made Nystrom & Associates what it is today. Thank you for your support! Nystrom & Associates offers individual, couples, and family therapy. Talk with us at 1-844-NYSTROM or request an appointment online. For more tips and mental health education, follow our Facebook page.  

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