The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they're thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness towards other, and even have stronger immune systems. Research shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal and regularly jotting down what you’re thankful for can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.
If you struggle with emotional eating, practicing gratitude can be a powerful tool. Taking a few moments out of your day to be grateful brings you into the present moment, which reduces the risk of making mindless choices or habits like overeating. It also helps you take control of your mindset. Shifting your thoughts to what you are grateful for moves your focus to the good things, which can decrease stress and stop cycles of negative thinking which may be triggering your emotional eating.
Gratitude is starting to sound good, right? To start expressing more gratitude today, consider these practices:
1. Start a Gratitude Journal
If writing isn’t something that excites you, start with just writing down one thing (in a simple sentence format) that you’re grateful for. Go back a week later and add another sentence. While this doesn’t seem like much effort, by the end of the year you’ll have 52 things you’ve written down that you’re grateful for! And by all means, keep writing if you think of more :)
2. Write Someone a Letter
Don’t just focus on the things you are grateful for, but think about who you are thankful for and let them know! Write them a letter expressing your gratitude for all that they do for you or how they’ve made your life better.Why not brighten up someone else’s day while boosting your own mood?
3. Make a Gratitude Jar
There’s power from writing something down and making it physical.Write down on a slip of paper what you’re grateful for and why. Put the slip of paper in a jar or other container and put it in a place where you’ll see it every day, like your kitchen. Add to it once a routinely. Seeing your gratitude jar with all your slips of gratitude in it is a great visual reminder of all the good things you have in your life.
4. Practice Gratitude Rituals
Some people say grace before a meal. This is an example of a gratitude ritual you can do daily to express your gratitude and thanks for what you have. Get creative and create a ritual that works for you and your family. Perhaps you want to go around the dinner table and say one thing you’re grateful for that day or make it part of your bedtime routine. Whatever it is, think of small ways you can express gratitude on a daily basis.
Gratitude is a powerful emotion that instantly washes away stress and tension. Allow your emotional eating to be healed by it. Whether it’s writing in a journal, expressing gratitude to others, or saying grace, start practicing gratitude today!