Use these gratitude affirmations to help you escape the “worry loop” and manifest a new sense of peace and happiness in your life.
It’s hard to feel grateful when we’re afraid our world is about to fall apart. When I was at the height of my anxiety, I lived in a constant state of vigilance and anticipation of all the things that might go wrong. It turns out, none of these things actually happened. But I made them very real and experienced them again and again each day with my focus and attention.
That’s the thing about anxiety. Instead of being present to what actually is, it propels us forward to what might be instead. While we are trying to prepare and protect ourselves from those worst-case scenarios – we miss out on enjoying the moments that we do have, already right in front of us.
Using gratitude affirmations can help us escape these ‘worry loops’ we sometimes find ourselves caught in. Our gratitude glasses bring focus to all the good in our present.
I’m not suggesting that we blissfully ignore or dismiss the hardships and trials we experience. Rarely does life turn out as we expected. But even during all these uncertainties, there is joy waiting discovery in our everyday.
Something wonderful happens when we start to celebrate these little gifts in time and say, “thank you!”
What are Gratitude Affirmations?
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger to a friend.Melody Beattie
Gratitude affirmations are short statements we recite or journal that help us notice the good things. They open our heart to intentionally see what we often take for granted but really appreciate!
Gratitude doesn’t mean life is perfect. We will still face challenges and difficult situations. But as Robert Emmons argues
“…it is precisely under crisis conditions when we have the most to gain by a grateful perspective on life. In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope.”Robert Emmons
We start to notice the people, places, activities, and artifacts that we love and bless us with their presence. It changes our attitude to recognize the positive contribution of those around us and in our own achievements. Celebrating people like my neighbor who secretly set out painted butterfly rocks for my girls to find. Acknowledging and being thankful for each step towards wellness we take in our mental health journeys. And of course, the value of gooey chocolate chip cookies and a Hallmark movie marathon.
The benefits of Gratitude Affirmations
Gratitude is a powerful tool that can help us realize the positive changes we want to make in our lives. Philosophers and religions have upheld gratitude as one of our greatest virtues for years. But recently a number of researchers have taken a closer look at gratitude and its positive effects:
Several studies show people who have a regular gratitude practice are healthier. They have lower blood pressure, better immune systems, and less pain.
Gratitude makes us happier! This is partly because it increases our feel-good hormones serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. All of which can work to lower our sense of fear or stress while promoting well-being and contentment.
Practicing gratitude helps us get the quality sleep we need to lower our anxiety. Logging in more NREM sleep waves repairs the neural networks that help us regulate our emotions.
A sense of appreciation for others strengthens our relationships. Psychologists call gratitude “social glue”. Those who have a grateful mindset are often more helpful and generous people leading to better connections. It also serves to “find, remind, bind”: By helping us recognize the thoughtfulness in other people, it helps us “find” good friends and partners; it “reminds” us of their goodness when we are in a relationship; and then it “binds” us to our loved ones even closer.
Being grateful helps us build resilience – the ability to persevere in difficult times. It helps us remain clear headed when solving problems and remain optimistic rather than being overwhelmed by negativity. Grateful people see challenges as an opportunity for growth, re-framing obstacles as opportunities and open to creative solutions.
How does Gratitude work?
A study from the Greater Good Science Center divided about 300 adults who were using the university’s counseling services into three groups. The first group was asked to write a gratitude letter to someone each week, for three weeks. The second group dug deep and wrote about negative experiences. The last group did not have a writing assignment. All groups continued their counseling appointments.
What did they find?
Those who wrote the gratitude letters reported improved mental well being even 3 months after the exercise finished.
Why did it make such a difference?
The researchers found out some interesting ways a gratitude practice works to change our minds and bodies.
1. Gratitude releases us from toxic emotions
Spending time thinking about the things we’re grateful for shifts our attention away from negative emotions and stops the cycle of our ruminating thoughts.
2. Gratitude changes us even if we don’t share it
Only 23 percent of the participants sent the gratitude letters they wrote. Even those who wrote but didn’t share their letters experienced the benefits of the gratitude practice.
3. Gratitude’s benefits increase over time
Participants didn’t notice the benefits from their new gratitude practice immediately but found they became happier as the weeks went by. They reported improved mood at 4 weeks and then even better results in their final report at 12 weeks.
4. Gratitude rewires our brain to be more ‘grateful’
The researchers conducted follow-up experiments with the non-writing and gratitude letter groups to see how their brains (scanned with an MRI) reacted to giving and receiving. Participants were given small bits of money by a ‘benefactor’ who simply asked them to pass it along to a worthy cause if they felt grateful. Each person decided how much, if any, money they’d pass on.
One of the findings showed that those from the gratitude letter group had more activity in the medial prefrontal cortex than the non-writing group. The researchers suggested their gratitude practice had actually changed their brain, training it to be more attuned to the experience of gratitude.
In other words, the more we try to feel and express gratitude in our lives, the more easily we will feel grateful in the future and experience its many benefits. Gratitude really does attract ‘abundance’!
15 Gratitude Affirmations to Overcome Anxiety
- I am thankful for the peace and security of my home.
- I am grateful for unexpected belly laughs.
- I appreciate all those who help provide me food to nourish and give strength.
- I am so thankful for my friends and heart-to-heart talks.
- I feel blessed to live in this beautiful world with all its natural wonder.
- I am thankful for new discoveries, learning, and growing.
- I appreciate the lessons I’ve learned from past mistakes.
- I am thankful for the communities that support and accept me for who I am.
- I am most thankful for my family who understands and loves me no matter what.
- I appreciate my body and everything it enables me to do each day.
- I appreciate my emotions – from sad to happy tears and everything in between.
- I am forever thankful for each new day and its endless possibilities.
- I am blessed to always have ‘enough’.
- I am so happy to help make dreams come true.
- I can’t wait to see what the world has in store for me today!
Wishing everyone peace,
I’m not an expert. If you have any concerns about your health, you should always consult your doctor or other qualified health-care provider and don’t disregard or delay seeking professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment because of anything you read on this site. Wishing you well.