30-day well-being challenge: Start using these 7 steps now

What would happen if we made an effort to make gratitude part of life every day, all day?

Elizabeth Angelo (pictured), MSN, RN-BC, Carle Clinical Education and Outcomes director, would say that might change your life.

She insists gratitude is more of an attitude than a feeling.

“It’s an approach to life that requires a conscious choice,” Angelo said.

Practicing gratitude every day benefits the mind, body, relationships and even the workplace.

One study involved people who dealt with pain daily from neuromuscular disease, and the results revealed similar effects. One group journaled about daily events, and another group recorded events that caused them to feel grateful.

The gratitude group reported sleeping and feeling better, feeling greater connection and having better relationships—greater satisfaction overall.

For some, it is hard to find things to be grateful for.

“What is negative tends to be what rises to the top,” Angelo said, knowing that means you can take steps to change.

To make gratitude a habit in your life:

  • Spend two minutes two times each day thinking about ways you feel grateful.
  • Plan and schedule pauses in your day to think about what you are thankful for.
  • Write down what you are grateful for.
  • Pray or meditate.
  • Notice when your attitude gets off track. Pause. Reset with two minutes of gratitude.
  • Be deliberate about thanking people in your life. Be specific and sincere.
  • Take one grateful thought and let that grow into other grateful thoughts.

Angelo encourages everyone add at least one of the techniques for 30 days.

“You can practice gratitude anywhere, anytime, for free. It’s proven to have real benefits for physical wellness and to increase overall resilience,” she said.