To Improve Your Health, Practice Gratitude

Gratitude: the state of being grateful.  Gratitude involves recognizing the positive things in your life and how they affect you.  

You can probably imagine the delightful feelings and sensations that come with being in a grateful state.  It’s typically the opposite of being stressed, anxious, or sullen.  Being grateful, however, doesn’t just make us feel better; it can positively change our body’s physical, emotional, and mental health.  The correlation between gratitude and wellness and the multitude of health benefits of practicing gratitude should inspire everyone to add more gratitude practices to their daily routines.  

Physical Benefits

  • Reduce your blood pressure
  • Reduce depressive symptoms
  • Improves your sleep
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Adds years to your life

Mental/Emotional Benefits

  • Makes us happier
  • Enhances our positive emotions
  • Increases self-esteem
  • Boosts optimism
  • Enhances empathy

 

 

 

 

For this month’s challenge, the goal is to text, email, or write someone new every day, simply expressing your gratitude to that individual.  It could be a straightforward, “Hey, I just want to let you know how much I appreciate you,” to a more thought-out message.  For each day of the ten-day challenge, message someone new for a total of at least ten people by the end of the challenge.  A small act of gratitude can cause ripple effects that reach farther than you would imagine.

Are you looking for other ways to express gratitude? Below are my favorite methods.

  1. Gratitude Journal.  Every night, before bed, write down three things that you were grateful for from the day.  Try to come up with something new each night, and soon, you’ll see the many things you have to be thankful for.
  2. Give Thanks!  As soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning, take 5 seconds to say thank you for another day of life on this planet.  This practice helps set a positive tone for the day and provides some perspective on how valuable life itself is. 
  3. Send a text, note, or email.  Let people know how much you appreciate them, often! 
  4. Go on a Mindful Walk.  Get outside, and take a stroll for at least 5 minutes.  As you walk, use your senses, especially sight and sound, to look and hear for things you haven’t distinguished before.
  5. Reframe your thinking.  Someone somewhere would die to have what you have on your worst day.  So if you’re going through a rough moment, take a moment and attempt to flip your thinking.  Look for the good in the bad, the happy in the sad, the gain in your pain, and what makes you grateful, not hateful.  

To MAS Health,

Michael

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