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Healthy Living

Got 5 Minutes? Then You Can Be A More Grateful Person

Do it for your health and happiness.

It's time to add gratitude to your to-do list.

Each day is always full of tasks that need to be completed -- why not prioritize something that benefits your mind and body? Expressing thanks can do wonders for your well-being. Not only does it improve your physical health, it can also increase your happiness and feelings of optimism.

Below are just a few ways you can practice gratitude on a daily basis. The best part? They only take a few minutes.

Write in a journal.

The benefits of journaling are boundless, but a daily writing practice is an especially handy way to infuse your life with gratitude. The key is keeping consistent.

"If you write it down, eventually it will become more automatic," gratitude researcher Robert Emmons previously told HuffPost. "It's like exercise -- you're not just going to get up one morning and go running, you need to have a plan. You need to have a gratitude action plan, whether it's waking up and writing in the morning or in the evening before you go to sleep -- no one size best fits all."

Try scribbling down three things you're thankful for each day. They can range from "the weather is beautiful today" to "I got a compliment from my boss." Even if you're having the most negative day you've experienced all year, you'll at least have a few positives to reflect on.

Compliment your co-workers.

Thank your deskmate for making you laugh or commend your teammate on the work they did for your last group project. Compliments don't have to be something surface-level.

Expressing your gratitude toward someone's meaningful actions leave a lasting impression on the receiver. And here's a bonus: Studies suggest that generosity and joy go hand-in-hand. Kindness makes you happy and happiness makes you kind. Sounds like a pretty great cycle.

Text, call or email your loved ones.

The wonderful people in your life don't have to be standing in front of you in order for you to appreciate them. You may even end up easing some anxieties in the process: Research shows calling loved ones, like your mom, can reduce stress.

If you're trying to make gratitude a daily practice, your friends and family can also hold you accountable. Try engaging in a regular thankfulness exchange with someone. Tell them three things you're grateful for each day and have them do the same for you. You'll both end up happier than you started. Win, win.

Meditate on the good things.

There's a lot of wonderful in the world -- there's just rarely time carved out to reflect on it. Take a few moments at the end of your day to do a little meditation on thankfulness (you'll reap the health benefits of gratitude and meditation... score!). Check out this guided meditation on gratitude if you need some help getting started.

Ultimately, gratitude is all about appreciating the moments, things and people already in your life. If you're drawing a blank, here are 100 everyday things many people forget to acknowledge. There's nothing like feeling jubilant for what's right in front of you.

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