Dr. Rotem Regev of the Vancouver Couple & Family Institute explains the benefits of making gratitude a part of your daily routine

Almost everywhere we look these days, we’re reminded that gratitude is the best attitude. According to Dr. Rotem Regev, registered psychologist at the Vancouver Couple & Family Institute, practicing gratitude can literally change the way we think.

“Numerous studies show a connection between gratitude and self-reported well-being,” Dr. Regev tells Wellness Matters. “Gratitude is even thought to improve self-esteem, body image and the quality of relationships,” she adds. “Since gratitude allows us to slow down and check in with ourselves, it can also be helpful for managing difficult feelings.”

So, what’s the secret to creating a daily gratitude practice with staying power?

“Try pairing your gratitude practice with something you do every day, like brushing your teeth or drinking your morning coffee,” Dr. Regev suggests. “You could place a keepsake next to your toothbrush or coffee mug for a visual reminder,” she adds.

“Just like everything in life, gratitude is cultivated over time,” Dr. Regev tells Wellness Matters. “It’s okay if you don’t feel grateful in the moment. You set the intention, and that’s what matters.” With time and practice, however, gratitude becomes habitual, and that’s where the real shifts happen.

 

Share your gratitude with others

To deepen personal relationships and expand feelings of gratitude beyond yourself, Dr. Regev suggests sharing words of appreciation with a friend or loved one. “Keeping a gratitude journal is a great start, but what if we shared our gratitude with others?” Dr. Regev asks. “When we tell someone just how much we appreciate them, we feel grateful, and they feel touched and appreciated.”