Did you know there is one simple thing you can do, anywhere, any time, that can significantly affect your health, happiness, relationships and even your career?
That one thing is to practice gratitude.
Although the benefits of a grateful mindset have been extolled by various spiritual traditions for thousands of years, the practice of gratitude has recently begun to receive unprecedented attention in the field of positive psychology. This is due to its scientifically proven effects on people's health and wellbeing, with studies around the globe demonstrating significant improvements in variables ranging from happiness levels to quality of sleep, relationship health and decision making.
Well respected researchers such as Dr Robert Emmons, psychology professor at the University of California, and Dr Martin Seligman, director and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania have been leading the way in the field of “the science of gratitude”. A review of over 40 studies worldwide found that when people regularly utilised a simple, gratitude-enhancing strategy such as completing a 5-minute daily gratitude journal, the results are nothing short of spectacular. The daily practice of gratitude can:
* Increase level of happiness by up to 25%
* Lower depressive symptoms by up to 35%
* Increase quality of sleep by up to 25%
* Reduce reported health symptoms by up to 16%
* Lower blood pressure
* Boost the immune system
* Increase energy levels
* Increase likelihood of exercise
* Increase resilience and ability to deal with stress
* Increase pro-social behaviour
* Strengthen friendships and relationships
* Improve management, decision making and productivity
* Increase likelihood of protective health behaviours and maintenance
And much more....click here to read a summary of the research including links to many of the quoted studies. There is a wealth of information on the internet, in books, and in journals about the benefits of gratitude, and this will only increase as more and more people seek to learn about this wonderful virtue. I can highly recommend “Thanks: How the science of gratitude can make you happier” by Dr Robert Emmons for further indepth reading.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, our Qi is said to follow our intention or mental energy – so the more we dwell on positive, loving thoughts such as gratitude, the more our Qi can flow freely to nourish our body & mind. The opposite of gratitude can be a range of emotions, like resentment, frustration and irritability, and in Chinese Medicine, these negative emotions can cause stagnation of Liver Qi. This is one of the most common patterns seen in stressed-out modern-day patients, and it is the doorway for a host of acute and chronic health conditions. If we can soothe and move the Liver Qi, we take an amazing step towards greater health and happiness. Wonderful miracles of healing can happen when we allow our Qi to flow and unblock any obstruction caused by negative thinking patterns.
So from both an Eastern and a Western perspective, gratitude is indeed good for your health.
Take the 30 Day gratitude challenge and go in the draw to WIN a beautiful gratitude kit!
You can use a diary, a notepad, your smart phone – there are even free gratitude apps you can download that can prompt you to write things down at certain times. You can get creative and make your gratitude lists into artworks, or create a 'gratitude jar' where you write each thing you are grateful for on a separate strip of paper, fold it up and place it in the jar. Over the next 30 days see the jar fill up with all your blessings. There are many different ways that you can practice gratitude, and you don't need to stop there – let this be a springboard for making a daily habit of practicing thankfulness in your life.
If you would like to join a group of people taking this challenge to improve their health and happiness, please like and share this Facebook post ---->
Know that you will be in good company with everyone else who has shared the image and that you will be spreading the good word about gratitude! Please also feel free to list some things that you are grateful for if you feel so called, or if you are having any blocks or breakthroughs due to the challenge. We will continue to post images inspiring gratitude over the next month to support you.
I do hope that you join us in on this challenge, and look forward to reaping the many benefits of gratitude as this beautiful practice becomes a way of life.
Thankyou for reading this post and being a part of this community committed to improving our health and happiness. I am very grateful for you!
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