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How Practicing Gratitude Can Change Your Life

Building a habit of being grateful has nearly endless benefits. This practice looks different for everybody, so there are really no rules to how you can apply it to your life either. For some, it’s about thanking God for something during a meal, and for others it’s about taking a long breath and taking in the world around you. Even though practicing gratitude looks different for everyone, the benefits are relatively consistent. Studies done at Harvard Medical School say that positive psychology research shows that “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Making time to truly think about what you are thankful for in a day sounds easier than it is. People often stress, which leads them to focus on what went wrong that day or what they are lacking. But this mindset can leave many people feeling empty, negative, and upset with their lives. Living this way promotes an unhappy lifestyle that is an unnecessary weight to their shoulders. To make this habit a little bit more manageable, it’s better to try thinking of smaller things that were a good part of your day. This could be that amazing latte you had that morning, a compliment from a coworker, or even appreciating your own body and how it provided for you that day. Another fun way to incorporate practicing gratitude in your life is to bring your loved ones into the habit with you! Freshman year of college, my roommates and I did this by listing our “diamond, peach, piss” of the day. The diamond was the shining moment of your day (ex. a good grade on your test). The peach was something sweet that made your heart happy (a friend or professor complimenting you). And the last was piss, and that was simply added to enable us to vent a bit and get stuff off of our chests. Doing this as we were all winding down for the day was such an amazing way to relax and reflect on our day. Reflecting like this automatically enables you to appreciate the great things that happened, and the challenges you overcame. So now that you know a little bit about practicing gratitude and what it can do for you, ask yourself how you can incorporate it into your daily routine. Challenge yourself to carve out 5 minutes to not only improve your health, but your outlook on life. 

Maeve Kenny

Scranton '23

Hi my name is Maeve Kenny and I am a sophomore Advertising / Public Relations and Business Communications double major with a Social Media Strategies minor. I am on my university's field hockey team and am passionate about staying fit, self care, and staying motivated. I love to learn and try new things, and hope you enjoy some of my thoughts!
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