How Gratitude can Shift your Mood

How Gratitude can Shift your Mood

How Gratitude can Shift your Mood

Gratitude and mental well-being 

By Dr Michelle Woolhouse 

Did you know that practicing gratitude regularly, can help improve the quality of sleep, lower anxiety and support better mood?  


What is gratitude and how does it differ from experiencing appreciation? Gratitude is a whole-body experience, acknowledging the good things in one’s life. In addition, there is an aspect that the source of this goodness, is from other people, the world in general or for some people a higher power.  


How to practice gratitude to enhance sleep 


The daily gratitude checklist.  


As you lie in bed, when the lights are turned off, take a few long slow deep breathes. Bring to mind the question, “what am I grateful for today?” 

Allow the day to unfold and focus in on the things you feel gratitude for…. 

It could be the hot water in the shower, the sunrise, the ability to buy new shoes that you put on today, your chat with a loved one. Ponder each answer and make sure you connect with the sense of gratitude inside your body.  


Major gratitude  

Rather than think of daily gratitude, this exercise allows you to focus on a big gratitude piece in your life. Pick one such area to focus one, it could be an event, a situation a person, an environment. Allow yourself the time to explore all the tiny details of this area of focus… if it is a person, think of all the wonderful things about that person, or if it is an environment, focus on the details of why you feel so grateful for it.  

Observe and feel the source of gratitude inside your body.  


Gratitude Journal 

Keep a notebook by your bed or where you relax in the evening and try to make a time each day to write down 3 things you are grateful for and why. Some days the experiences will be small and others will be grand, you can focus on tiny details one day and big sweeping experiences another. You are in charge. The secret to this is to do it daily and within in a few weeks you will have trained your brain and body to savour, focus and look for the things to be grateful for.