Why gratitude is good for you
This time of the year our thoughts turn to being thankful and giving gratitude. But do you actually know how being grateful is good for your health.
When you give gratitude it makes you feel good about yourself, bringing about a positive energy and vibe and the feeling that life is good. Having an attitude of gratitude can be the cure to external stresses.
Recent findings states that :
Grateful people — those who perceive gratitude as a permanent trait rather than a temporary state of mind — have an edge on the not-so-grateful when it comes to health, according to Emmons’ research on gratitude. “Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular physical examinations.
Cultivating an attitude of thankfulness has also been linked to better immune function,better ability to relax, and even decreased rates of disease.
Thankfully, cultivating a grateful attitude can be one of the easiest things you do for your health! A few simple changes can help make gratitude a habit.
One thing you can do daily is to make a list of a few things that you are especially grateful for that particular day. It does not have to something big, it could be being grateful that your car starts on a cold morning, or that the trains are on time, or being grateful for your family, faith, or your husband, wife or friends. This helps to keep the focus on the many blessings in your life.
As Martha Washington said:
“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
Tips to become more grateful
1. Either “Accept” or “Accomplish”
Don’t allow yourself to keep falling short of who you want to be. Either adjust your expectations for your career and life so you can truly enjoy all you have now. Or, make a specific game plan for how you will build your core competencies and grow your career according to your hopes – in other words, finally apply yourself and Accomplish what will finally bring you self acceptance. Make a conscious decision to Accept or Accomplish for each dissatisfying aspect of your career and life. As you make progress on either of these initiatives, be grateful for the progress you make along the way so you keep yourself energized to keep going!
2. Find one, if not multiple “actions”, “touchstones” or “rituals” that remind you to be grateful.
Find your own, but here are some ideas:
• reviewing the things you have to be grateful for at bedtime;
•remembering to think about certain people (e.g., your family, children) and be grateful for their presence, love, and health, etc. Notice what they do for you and what you love doing for them.
•recall a spiritual perspective or ritual you have been taught
•put your hands on your heart and give thanks to whatever notions you subscribe to about a Creator
• appreciate yourself for your accomplishments and the focus and attention you put into making professional and personal contributions each day.
3. All any of us need to do is immediately call to mind the obvious, that ¾ of the world who lives in conditions with no clean water or shelter or freedoms.
You are overlooking so many opportunities to be grateful each day, from appreciating that your faucet, your central heat, your cellphone, your transportation work reliably each day; you and most people you know are probably privileged with relatively good health; you can think and say what you want, and love who you love (though your government may not recognize your relationship rights); you live in a society with myriad opportunities for generating wealth, etc. I know this sounds hokey, but now whenever I’m caught in a bad traffic jam or have difficult career situations, I am ‘grateful’ that these are the nature of the problems I have compared to the problems I could be having.
4. Hang out with people who are grateful.
Five things I’m very grateful for today are:
- My family
- My partner doing the housework!
- Getting to sleep in today!
- Bountiful food in the kitchen
- My good health
What are you grateful for?. Feel free to comment.
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