The Beauty of Gratitude
Every morning we have 24 brand new hours to live. What a precious gift!”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
When was the last time you stopped and thought, “I am actually very lucky.”? When was the last time you felt truly grateful for those around you and for everything you have in life?
If you are reading this little thought, chances are you feel truly blessed or totally down. Sometimes you just can’t help being one side or another, it’s how our life and our mind work. On days you feel down gratefulness is hard to swallow. It is hard to be positive when you are hurting, but there are still reasons to be grateful.
(Scientifically proven) benefits of gratitude
It relieves from stress and depression & increase mental health
It’s no secret that stress can make us sick, particularly when we can’t cope with it. Gratitude can help reducing toxic emotions and better manage stress and tension. Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude and professor of psychology at the University of California, has conducted multiple studies on gratitude. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces stress and depression.
It improves physical health
Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences and that’s because they tend to be more likely to take care of their body and their health.
It enhances empathy and reduces anger
Even when others don’t behave kindly towards them, studies suggest that grateful people experience more sensitivity and empathy towards other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.
Grateful people sleep better
Spending just 15 minutes practicing gratitude before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
How to practice gratitude?
It’s relatively easy to start the gratitude attitude off by simply choosing to be thankful for the small things.
The best way to get all the benefits of gratitude is to commit to a short daily practice. Choose a set time of day and see if you can sit down with pen and paper and write down few. Start with “I am grateful for…” and then add something that makes you feel good. Maybe you will have to stop for a moment and wait because you just can’t think of anything. This is totally normal. Stop over-thinking and the words will come.
Something worth being grateful for could be: something someone did or said, a person, a circumstance, a decision you made, something you ate… Start thinking about this thing and be thankful for it!
Some days you will write without feeling a bit of gratitude. That’s ok. Just write something down anyway. After a while you will be able to practice gratitude as you move through your day. When you remember take a moment and tell yourself “I am grateful for…”
Taking time to give thanks and to be grateful for small things gives you space to choose your next move, understand what to do next and, in general, being happier. Let me know how it goes!