7 Steps to a Grateful Heart (and a Great Life)

7 Steps to a Grateful Heart (and a Great Life)
The family gatherings and holiday shopping may be behind us, but the busyness of life, work and family continues. Let's take a moment to remember the importance of giving ourselves the TLC we deserve by exploring ways of reducing stress and fostering a happy heart.

Practicing gratitude is a great way to lower stress, and protect our hearts and minds. Having an attitude of gratitude offers many benefits. In fact, Robert Emmons, a well-known gratitude researcher, has compiled a list of seven habits of grateful people. 

Consider adding these worthy tips to your self-care regimen:

  1. Journaling for just five minutes a day in a gratitude journal reminds us to appreciate others, builds better relationships and elevates mood.
  2. Don’t avoid the negative or ignore setbacks. Challenges are part of life, and once we fall and pick ourselves back up, we’re often wiser and more grateful from the experience.
  3. Spending time with family and friends fosters love and caring, and humor and intimacy, deepening our relationships.
  4. Knowing the value of little things develops a sense of appreciation rather than entitlement, and detracts from materialism.
  5. Exercising brings about improved health, sleep and self-esteem. Strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most—if not all—days of the week.
  6. Volunteering brings about an awareness of the needs of others and how we can meaningfully impact our community.
  7. Mindful use of social media. Thankful people spread words of gratitude to others, and positive thoughts spread faster than negative posts or rants. 

Recognizing and sharing gratitude can help you feel more optimistic and at peace, and bolster your relationships. Whether it’s a holiday or just an average Wednesday, practicing gratitude can make your world and the world of those around you brighter. Back