Gratitude is a MUST! Koffee was on to something when she wrote that song. We are surrounded by blessings, but it requires effort and reflection to recognise them during difficult times. The good news is – such a habit can benefit us in more ways than one! Keep reading to learn how the attitude of gratitude can benefit all areas of your health.
Is There A Pattern?
Have you ever known someone who is always joyful no matter the circumstances? A truly happy individual. We’ve all known one at some point of our lives. Many have always wondered what enables them to maintain such a disposition…
The ones who I have known personally, have always demonstrated a similar trait; gratitude. When you speak to people like that for long enough, they always say something that indicates they are grateful for what they have and where they are. Their lives aren’t glamorous – they have seen hardships and difficulty just like everybody else. However, they chose to focus on the good things in their lives, no matter how big or small.
In my recent post How To Maintain Hope For 2021, I highlighted the impact that being thankful can have on reinforcing one’s hope. Gratitude can shape one’s perspective & bring a balance to their lives in the midst of trying times.
How Does Gratitude Actually Benefit One’s Health?
Many studies have been conducted over the years regarding gratitude and how it impacts one’s life. As you already know, there are many aspects to the subject of health.
Let’s start with emotional and mental health. Having and receiving gratitude has the ability to increase one’s happiness or joy. It releases the right amount of serotonin and dopamine; both known as the ‘happy hormones’. As a research-a-holic, I came to find out that having the right amounts of both can reduce feelings of envy and resentment. They an also reduce depression overall.
But the benefits doesn’t stop there. All of those factors work together to help our physical health. Such hormones benefit our metabolism, our cognitive abilities and even aids us to sleep better. Our energy and vitality is boosted – which can help us with our movements. This can go as far to even increase our lifespan. A particular study highlighted that actively practising gratitude can even go as far as to reduce one’s physical pain (Counting Blessings Verses Burdens Study).
Overall, a substantial amount of studies and research have all concluded similar findings that the attitude of gratitude benefits us to great depths. So this is something we should actively practise in our lives.
How Can I Practise The Attitude Of Gratitude?
People’s attitudes can change throughout life; based on their experiences. The attitude of gratitude can be developed and nurtured. They say that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit – and I believe that the attitude of gratitude can be developed, through actively practising it. If this is something you would like to develop and practise, then here are some useful methods to help you;
1)Prayer and/or Thanksgiving
Prayer & thanksgiving are important for many people from a variety of faiths; reminding them of what really matters in life. As a Christian, this is imperative in my life. However, you don’t have to be a Christian to pray, or to take time out to give thanks for the blessings in your life.
Taking time to focus on prayer & thanksgiving can make a big difference to one’s mindset and life. Starting and concluding my day with prayer & thanksgiving, clears the way for me to have a better day. That doesn’t mean I won’t encounter difficulties throughout the day. But as my day has started well – I’m able to maintain my focus on important things and not be moved by trivial matters.
2) Meditation & Reflection
People hear the word ‘meditation’ and usually associate it with Buddhism. But meditating simply means to focus one’s mind for a period of time for religious, spiritual or relaxation purposes. Many people do this, regardless of their faith background.
Be intentional and make a time to find a personal space, where you won’t be interrupted. Then clear your mind and focus on what it is that you’re thankful for in your life. Think about those things deeply.
When your meditation time has concluded for the day, don’t just discard those thoughts once you get back to your routine. Carry those thoughts with you and revisit them throughout the day.
3) Gratitude Diary
This has been an instrumental addition that has turned my life around. 2019 was one of the best years I had in quite a long time (we will not mention the following year that must not be named! The Voldemort of all years – Harry Potter fans know!).
But all jokes aside, 2019 was phenomenal for me – even with major losses and transitions. One of the things I did differently for the first time, was utilise a gratitude diary – daily.
Warriors, I couldn’t recommend it enough. When you take your time to write down a few things you’re grateful for each day and keep it in your mind – it boosts your mental and emotional health. It helped me to realise, that although some things were bad – not everything was. Because if I could name three things I’m thankful for on that day, then I had more than enough reason to keep pushing until things improved.
If you would like to give this method a try but don’t want to invest in a gratitude diary just yet, download my free printable gratitude diary here. Give it a try and see how much it changes your life – and make sure you let us know if it has too!
4) Make an Effort To Thank Others In Your Life
This brings a multitude of benefits not only to yourself, but to others around you. It is a blessing to be a blessing to others, so if people have been good to you in your life, thank them. Let them know. That will benefit them to let them know what they are doing for others, counts.
This act of kindness also benefits you simply because, it’s an act of kindness! We have often heard multiple times that doing a kind thing for someone else actually releases oxytocin (the love hormone) and serotonin; resulting in improvement of blood pressure, heart health, energy levels and even one’s life span! As previously mentioned, this leads to pain, anxiety and stressed being decreased too.
Overall, gratitude is the gift that keeps giving. It creates a ripple effect; not only helping us but also helping others around us.
"Overall, gratitude is the gift that keeps giving. It creates a ripple effect; not only helping us but also helping others around us." Tasha Marie https://t.co/Be4DFAKvlz— Pain Warrior Code (@PainWarriorCode) February 11, 2021
So Gratitude Really Does Benefit Your Health, Doesn’t it?
Simply, yes! It can benefit our mental health, emotional health, spiritual health and physical health. As I’ve previously mentioned before in other posts – one area of our health can go on to impact the other areas, good and bad.
So I encourage you all to actively elevate your gratitude up to the next level this year. We can always do with increasing our attitude of gratitude, no matter where we are in life.
Warriors, I dare you to give these practises a try this year (if you’re not doing them already) and see how it makes a difference in your life. What’s the worse that can happen from being more grateful in life? Try it out for a while and watch how it has a positive impact on your overall health. You’ll be glad that you did.
So Warriors, what methods have you already been practising? How has it changed your life? Are there any suggestions you would recommend that haven’t been highlighted in this post? Comment below and share your advise and experience with us!
Until next time Warriors,