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Gratitude is the expression of appreciation for what one has and a recognition of value independent of monetary worth. Spontaneously generated from within, gratitude is an affirmation of goodness and warmth, and can literally change our lives.

Positive psychology research consistently shows that gratitude is strongly associated with happiness. According to psychologist Robert Emmons (who’s done years of research on the subject), practicing gratitude reduces stress, depression and insomnia while increasing self-esteem, and improving relationships, willpower and performance.

When we find ourselves caught up in stress and rumination, gratitude enables us to take charge of our emotional lives.

When you’re going through a challenging time, focusing on the positives in life can be difficult, but this is exactly when gratitude is the most powerful.

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, cope with life’s challenges better and even have stronger immune systems.

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Everyday gratitude

Gratitude doesn’t need to be reserved just for momentous occasions. Appreciation of the everyday things in life can be what lifts spirits the most; such as the people in your life, your home, the source of your income, your beautiful surroundings and all the lessons that have brought you to where you are today.

The simple act of reflecting on the three things you’re most grateful for as you awake in the morning sets you up for a very different kind of day. The act of reflecting on precious moments from the day before you go to sleep has the power to improve your well-being and increase life satisfaction.

Practicing gratitude also helps us deal with adversity better.

The more resilient and clear-minded we are during challenging and uncertain times, the more mental strength and physical energy we have to show up for our loved ones and make a positive difference in the world.

So what are you grateful for?

If you need some help getting in touch with your gratitude and you’re in the Northern Rivers of NSW, talk to the lovely people at Byron Bay Detox Retreats.