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Practicing Gratitude Teach-Out

What is Gratitude and Why Should We Practice It? / Lesson 1 of 1

The Basics: What is Gratitude?

5 minutes

The “What”

Gratitude. It's a simple concept, but has a surprising amount of goodness hidden within it.

Gratitude is a sense of feeling thankful or grateful for the good things in your life. These ""good things"" can be BIG and broad, like:

  • feeling a connection to nature,
  • enjoying a strong sense of family,
  • feeling satisfaction and security in a job, or
  • having a supportive circle of friends.

But, they can also be little things, captured in life’s simple pleasures, like:

  • feeling the sun on your skin,
  • enjoying your morning coffee,
  • sleeping in on a weekend, or
  • hitting all green lights on your drive to the grocery store.

The “Why”

Gratitude is certainly not a new concept, but research on the impact gratitude can have on our lives is fairly new — it's really only been around 20 years or so, and we've learned a lot about gratitude in that time.

A summary of gratitude research was published in 2018 and it gives us a pretty clear message: having a ""grateful disposition"" is associated with many benefits, including:

  • better physical health,
  • greater well-being, happiness, optimism, and satisfaction with life,
  • being less materialistic, and
  • experiencing less burnout.

Where do we go from here?

But this raises a question… what if we don't already have a ""grateful disposition?"" Can we change how grateful we feel? Can we cultivate a sense of gratitude and enjoy some of these same benefits?

Research on this question points towards yes. When people practice gratitude it can have a positive impact on their lives.

Gratitude isn't magic, though — we want to be clear on that. Practicing gratitude won't cure depression, it won't eliminate stress in your life, and some studies aren't as positive about the benefits as others.

So what WILL it do for you? How do you even practice gratitude?

Those are the topics of this Teach-Out. In the rest of our material, we'll talk about:

  • Ways to incorporate gratitude into your life
  • What a gratitude exercise does for you and why it helps, according to research
  • Strategies for making it a daily practice… and how to keep the gratitude habit up

By joining us here, you’ve demonstrated an openness to learning about gratitude. In this Teach-Out, we hope you’ll not only learn more about the practice, but also feel empowered to cultivate a practice of gratitude in your own life.