Keeping an Attitude of Gratitude Year Round
Aside from making you feel better about your life, feeling and expressing gratitude has been found to have a wide range of beneficial health effects, including, below are the ways being grateful works, as follows:
|Stimulating your hypothalamus an area of your brain involved in the regulation of stress, and your ventral tegmental area, the part of the brain’s “reward circuitry,” an area that produces pleasurable feelings.|
|Improving sleep, especially if your mind has a tendency to go into overdrive with negative thoughts and worries at bedtime.|
|Raising the likelihood you will engage in healthy activities such as exercise|
|Raising your relationship satisfaction|
|Raising your work performance, in one study, managers who expressed gratitude saw a 50% increase in the employees’ performance|
|Enhancing one’s sense of general well-being.|
|Improving heart health, reducing the likelihood of sudden death in patients with congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease|
|Producing measurable effects on a number of systems in your body, including the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine (involved in mood regulation), inflammatory cytokines, reproductive hormones, the stress hormone cortisol, the social bonding hormone oxytoxin, blood pressure, cardiac and EEG rhythms, and blood sugar levels|
Practical Strategies to Build and Strengthen Gratitude
Like a muscle, our sense of gratitude can be built and strengthened with practice.
Below ere are 10 gratitude practices to begin with, if you are not using them now, as follows:
Keep a gratitude journal
This can be done in a paper journal, or you can download a Gratitude Journal app from iTunes. In 1 study, people who kept a gratitude journal reported exercising more, and had fewer visits to the doctor compared to those who focused on sources of aggravation.
Write thank you notes, letters and e-Mails
Whether in response to a gift or kind act, or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life, getting into the habit of writing thank you letters, notes and e-Mails can help you express gratitude in addition to simply feeling it inside.
This includes smiles and hugs, both of which can express a wide array of messages, from encouragement and excitement to empathy and support.
Be sincere, choosing words wisely
It is easy to say words like “please” and “thank you” these courtesies can become potent acknowledgments of gratitude when combined with eye contact and sincerity. If you say it, mean it.
Focus on the benevolence of other people instead of being so self-centered
Doing this will increase your sense of being supported by life and decrease unnecessary anxieties. Cherishing the kindness of others also means will be less likely to take them for granted.
Avoid comparing yourself to people you perceive to have more advantages
Doing so will only erode your sense of security. Wanting more is related to increased anxiety and unhappiness. A healthier comparison is to contemplate what life would be like without a pleasure that you now enjoy … Gratitude buffers you from emotions that drive anxiety. You cannot be grateful and envious, or grateful while harboring regrets.
Prayer: mindfulness meditation
Expressing thanks during prayer or meditation is another way to cultivate gratitude. Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now.
A mantra is sometimes used to help maintain focus, but you can also focus on something that you are grateful for, such as the blessings of each new day.
Create a nightly gratitude ritual
Take a couple of mins each day to stop and reflect; taking regular pause is an excellent way to bring about more feelings of gratefulness in your life.
Spend money on activities not of things
According to recent research, spending money on experiences not only generates more feelings of gratitude than material consumption, it also motivates greater generosity. People feel fortunate, and because it is a diffuse, untargeted type of gratitude, they are motivated to give back to people in general.
Generosity has also been linked to happiness, which may seem counter-intuitive since giving to others means sacrificing some of your own physical or emotional resources.
This experience has now been validated by science showing that generosity and happiness are actually wired together in the human brain.
| The future of our health and happiness depends largely on the thoughts we think today.
Remember, each moment of every day is an opportunity to feel and express gratitude. Doing so will, over time, help you feel happier, strengthen your relationships and support health.
So, by focusing on what is good in the Now, we become more open to receive greater abundance in the future.
Remember also to say Thank You to yourself, the universe, and the others you meet along the Path
Have a Happy Weekend.
Have a terrific weekend.